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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 06:46 GMT 07:46 UK
Teenager drowns swimming in bay
Search of West Bay
Rescuers battled "horrendous conditions" in West Bay
A teenager has died after he was swept out to sea off the Dorset coast.

The father of the 19-year-old raised the alarm at 1910 BST sparking a major search by Portland Coastguard who used a helicopter to search West Bay.

But when the teenager was spotted it was deemed "too dangerous" for a winch to be lowered and two lifeboats were sent to rescue him.

Sgt Steve Hughes, of Dorset Police, said the family, from Morden in Surrey, were on holiday in the area.

'Horrendous' conditions

The rescue teams faced gale force winds blowing at about 25mph, hampering the rescue operation.

The body was brought to shore at about 2040 BST Thursday night and taken to hospital by ambulance.

A Portland Coastguard spokesman said: "Initially we couldn't find him.

"When we did locate him, because of the size of the surf breaking around him, it was difficult to keep a visual of him.

"There were horrendous conditions which made it very difficult for the our crews.

"They are not normally afraid to do what is needed but in this situation we had to take precautions because we do have to think of the safety of the search and rescue teams as well."

Sgt Steve Hughes, of Dorset Police, said the father saw his son get into difficulties very quickly after going into the water.

He tried to reach him, but was unable to help and raised the alarm.




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