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Hopes fade for missing man

PUBLISHED: 09:28 24 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:17 03 July 2010

Hopes were fading last night for a teenager missing at sea off Great Yarmouth.

The 18-year-old was with his younger brother when their inflatable dinghy overturned in high winds between Britannia Pier and Scroby Sands at about 5.

Hopes were fading last night for a teenager missing at sea off Great Yarmouth.

The 18-year-old was with his younger brother when their inflatable dinghy overturned in high winds between Britannia Pier and Scroby Sands at about 5.45pm on Sunday.

Yesterday volunteers scoured the shoreline in an attempt to find the missing teenager who is from the Norwich area, but no trace was found.

The teenager's 10-year-old brother managed to get to shore safely and was taken to the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, where he was recovering from his ordeal.

Coastguards said the 18-year-old could not swim and it was believed neither brother had been wearing a life jacket.

Mario Siano, of Yarmouth coastguard, said: “We had been concerned throughout the day that inflatable toys would be blown out to sea with people on them in those strong off shore winds. Our thoughts are with the family of this young man.”

Five lifeboats, an RAF search and rescue helicopter and two coastguard search teams scoured the sea and shoreline for the teenager.

Earlier in the day Caister's independent lifeboat crew rescued two holidaymakers in an inflatable who got in trouble three quarters of mile off shore in choppy waters at about 11.30am.

The teenager went missing after launching from part of the beach not patrolled by lifeguards.

Yesterday it appeared an emergency station close to the scene had been vandalised. A lifebelt was missing and the cord to an emergency telephone had been cut.

Jim Shrimplin, cabinet member for environment at Yarmouth Borough Council, which maintains the emergency stations, said: “Unfortunately they are a target for idiots. I don't know if the people who do this realise the implications. It could be a member of their family that needs help.”

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