Sea search for boys seen playing on Thames Estuary beach


A search operation is under way off the south-east coast of England for two young boys seen playing in the water.

The boys, believed to be aged between eight and 12, were seen on the beach on the Isle of Grain, off the Thames Estuary, shortly after 5pm.

The coastguard said it is conducting an "extensive and thorough" search of the area in case the boys got into difficulty in the water.

Medway Coastguard Rescue Team is searching the shoreline while the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat is looking at the coastal area.

The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd has been dispatched and Kent Police are at the scene.

Parents of children who may have been in the area of Allhallows Caravan Holiday Park have been urged to get in touch with the local coastguard to confirm their children are safe.

Dai Jones, duty controller for the UK Coastguard, said the boys may have reached shore, but teams are searching in case they did not.

He said: "As a precautionary measure we are carrying out an extensive and thorough search of the area. We are also urging parents who might have had children playing in that location at that time to contact us directly, if they think that it was their children that were seen in the water, so we can rule out that these two boys may be missing or have got into difficulty in the water."

He added: "We are working with Kent Police to carry out inquiries at the caravan park which are continuing. However, parents who might have any further information about these two young boys are being urged to call us on 999 and ask for the coastguard."