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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 August 2005, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Brothers die in swimming accident
Picture of the search on the north Wales coast
Rescuers searched the coastline for Matthew Hole
A teenager who got in difficulties with his two brothers while swimming off the north Wales coast has died in hospital.

James Hole, 16, died at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, on Friday, a day after he was rescued at Llandanwg beach, Harlech.

The body of his brother, Matthew, 14, was found hours earlier, close to where he was swept out to sea on Thursday.

The two boys, from Hagley, Worcestershire, were swimming with their 19-year-old brother, Simon, when they got into difficulties.

Search operation

Simon Hole, who was uninjured, was able to raise the alarm at about 2030 BST on Thursday, sparking a major land, sea and air search.

At about 2045 BST, 16-year-old James was found by coastguards and flown by RAF helicopter to hospital in Bangor where he died at 2330 BST on Friday.

Rescuers on the beach
The operation to find the teenager had continued all night

North Wales Police said that James' family was with him in hospital when he died.

Coastguards from Holyhead, Harlech and Barmouth, an RAF rescue helicopter, and RNLI lifeboats from Criccieth and Barmouth continued to search for 14-year-old Matthew.

Following an operation that lasted almost 24 hours, Matthew's body was found at Llandanwg beach at 1950 BST.

The three boys were on holiday in the area with their parents.

Coastguards said at the time of the incident that the sea was not rough and the water near the beach was shallow.

'Lethal combination'

Rob Cramp, watch manager for the Holyhead Coastguard, said: "This part of the coast is no different from the rest of north Wales or the rest of the UK, it is just unfortunate this incident occurred where it did.

"It is not a dangerous place as far as currents or tide is concerned. It is just that several factors combined.

Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor
James Hole died at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, on Friday

"The reason the accident and fatalities occurred we do not know yet, but at the moment it is a possibility that given the cool air and sea temperature it could be the lads got hypothermia and could not swim to save themselves.

"The sea was not that bad, it was not rough, but the air temperature was quite cool, and with a cool wind and sea temperature the combination is lethal.

"The two boys were both only wearing swimming trunks."

Worcestershire County Council said on Saturday that both Matthew and James were pupils at Haybridge High School in the county.

A council spokesman added: "The school are shocked and saddened at the news and their thoughts go out to the family at this tragic and testing time for them."

The major search off the north Wales coast is the second in a week - on Monday, 12-year-old Sarah Louise Roberts drowned after being swept out to sea, while playing at Newborough on Anglesey.

She had been on the beach at Llanddwyn island, off Newborough, with her foster family.

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