Boy, 14, drowns in sea off Blackpool

Image caption Members of the public reported seeing the two boys in difficulty

A 14-year-old boy has drowned after getting into difficulties in the sea by Blackpool's Central Pier, police said.

An air sea rescue operation began at 1540 BST on Wednesday when Michael Sheehan, from Northampton, was seen disappearing beneath a wave.

A second boy managed to get back to shore but Michael was found in the water by the coastguard shortly after 1830 BST.

He was pronounced dead at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Brian George, a watch officer with Liverpool Coastguard, said the teenager was pulled from the water near Central Pier after he was spotted by a member of the public.

Mr George said: "We had several 999 calls from members of the public in Blackpool near Central Pier at about 3.40pm, stating there were two lads in trouble in the water.

"Although the incident happened at Central Pier we conducted a thorough search of the area from North Pier to well south of South Pier, up to a considerable distance off shore."

He said the Michael's family, who were believed to have been on holiday in the resort, were with police.

An RAF rescue helicopter, police helicopter, the Lytham St Annes coastguard and all three Blackpool RNLI inshore lifeboats took part in the search.

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