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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 May, 2005, 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK
Man drowns trying to rescue dog
One man has drowned off Blackpool and a second is missing after they tried to rescue a dog in rough seas, police say.

Lancashire Police said officers were alerted on Saturday afternoon after members of the public saw two men struggling in water near Gynn Square.

A man's body was later pulled out of the water after a police and coastguard operation. The dog was also found dead.

No details of the dead man's identity have yet been released. Rescuers have so far failed to find the second man.

Liverpool Coastguard led a search which included an RAF Sea King, a police helicopter and lifeboats after the alarm was raised at about 1530 BST.

'Awful' conditions

A police spokesman said: "The body is thought to be that of a local man who was one of two people seen to enter the sea in an apparent attempt to rescue a dog."

Steve Cross, Watch Manager at Liverpool Coastguard, said weather conditions had been rough, with south westerly winds gusting to force seven.

"The conditions have been pretty awful there, with a gale force seven wind, a very rough sea and very heavy weather," the police spokesman said on Saturday.

"One of our lifeboats couldn't launch straight away because it was too rough. Even the strongest of swimmers would have found it difficult."

The dead man was pulled from the sea by the Sea King at about 1615 BST. The dog was also found dead at around 1745 BST.

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