Boy drowns in Blackpool

The teenager was playing with a friend in a large inflatable ring not far from the shoreline on Wednesday afternoon when eyewitnesses spotted them in trouble.

It's understood they were knocked out of the ring into the water by a wave and the 14 year old was spotted in some difficulty.

Members of the public called the emergency services and a major rescue operation was launched.  A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The two teenagers were out with a large rubber ring in the water when they got into difficulty. One of the boys managed to get to shore, but the other was seen to be in trouble.  He was last seen being covered by a wave and was then lost from sight.''

The search involved Blackpool Beach Patrol, Lytham St Annes Coastguard rescue team and all three Blackpool RNLI inshore lifeboats. A police helicopter and RAF R122 rescue helicopter were also scrambled.

The boy was spotted by a member of the public by Central Pier almost three hours into the search and recovered from the water.

Medics struggled to save the boy's life after he was recovered from the water near Central Pier at about 6.30pm. But a Lancashire Police spokesman said he was pronounced dead at 7.50pm.

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