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Teenager feared dead in dinghy accident

PUBLISHED: 10:05 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:41 05 July 2010

FEARS are growing for a teenager who was swept out to sea after falling off an inflatable dinghy.

The 18-year-old, who coastguards said was "a non-swimmer", got into difficulties with his 10-year-old brother off Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach at about 5.

FEARS are growing for a teenager who was swept out to sea after falling off an inflatable dinghy.

The 18-year-old, who coastguards said was “a non-swimmer”, got into difficulties with his 10-year-old brother off Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach at about 5.40pm today.

The younger of the two brothers was able to swim back to shore but coastguards said the older brother had not been found, despite a major search.

He had stayed with the dinghy after it was blown out to sea by strong offshore strong winds and tipped over.

Yarmouth Coastguard said a member of the public had called 999 after seeing the two boys falling into the sea.

A major search was launched involving five lifeboats - Gorleston RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats, Caister Volunteer Lifeboat and inshore lifeboat, Hemsby Volunteer inshore lifeboat and coastguard rescue teams from Winterton and Gorleston.

A rescue helicopter from Wattisham Airfield has also been searching the area, but the 18-year-old has not been found.

Mario Siano, of Yarmouth Coastguard said: "We have been concerned throughout the day that inflatable toys would be blown out to sea with people on them in these strong offshore winds.

“Despite a major search by many rescue workers today, tragically, our worst fears appear to have been realised. Our thoughts are with the family of this young man.”

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