TWO large-scale searches were launched over the bank holiday weekend in two separate incidents of missing children.
The first search got underway at around 6pm on Sunday following reports of a missing 10-year-old in Woolacombe.
A RAF search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor, coastguard crews from Morthoe and Croyde and Ilfracombe’s all-weather and inshore lifeboat crews searched the area for the missing youngster.
As the crews circled Bull Point, Swansea Coastguard confirmed the child had been found safe and well and all crews were stood down.
The second search occurred on Monday evening after a family reported their four-year-old girl missing at Tunnels Beach in Ilfracombe.
Emergency services again conducted a search of the area and charter boat Lundy Explorer also joined in.
However, after around 50 minutes of searching the crews were stood down by the coastguard at around 7.50pm.
Andrew Bengey, volunteer Coxswain for Ilfracombe RNLI, said: “In conjunction with the Ilfracombe coastguard team, and the police, we conducted a sea and shoreline search of the area in response to the report that a child’s family had reported her missing on the beach.
“The search was called off at around 7.50 pm, as no one could locate the family of the child who had made the initial report.
“Every indication was that the child and her family had been reunited, and, overcome with relief and joy, they had left the beach, completely forgetting to tell anyone.”
The RNLI issued the following advice to parents taking children to the beach:
- Agree a meeting point in case of separation.
- If the beach runs a children’s safety scheme, using wristbands or tickets, take part. They’re free and they work.
If a child does go missing:
• calmly check your surroundings first, ensuring other children remain monitored
• contact the lifeguards or police and keep them informed
• let all searchers know once the child is found.