Teenage boy dies in sea tragedy
A 14-year-old boy has died after being pulled out of the sea following a three-hour search operation, police said.
A massive hunt was launched after members of the public spotted the teenager in difficulty off the Blackpool coast at 3.40pm.
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.
The force spokesman said: "Very, very sadly the 14-year-old boy brought out from the water has been pronounced dead."
The boy, who was playing with a large inflatable ring, disappeared from sight as he was overcome by a wave. The search operation was launched after several members of the public called 999 to say two boys were in trouble. 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.
The Coastguard said the boy's family is believed to be from the Northampton area.