Police confirm that body found off South Wales coast is missing teenager Hollie McClymont

The schoolgirl was last seen getting into difficulty on Sunday afternoon off the coast of Whitmore Bay

A body found in the sea off South Wales is missing Scottish teenager Hollie McClymont, police have confirmed.

The 14-year-old, from Glasgow, had not been seen since she went swimming off Barry Island last Sunday.

More than 40 specialist officers were deployed in the search for the teenager, as well as a helicopter and Coastguards.

Detectives broke the news Hollie's family had been dreading - a body had been found near to where the schoolgirl was last seen alive. Chief Inspector Marc Lamerton, of South Wales Police, said the deceased had now been formally identified.

He said: “We can confirm that a body recovered from the sea near Fontygary in the Vale of Glamorgan has been formally identified as that of 14-year-old Hollie McClymont The body was discovered by a police search team this afternoon. Our thoughts are with Hollie's family at this difficult time.”

St Thomas Aquinas Secondary School pupil Hollie had gone to South Wales with her mother, Sarah, for a holiday.

Police said the Scottish family chose Barry Island because they have relatives living in the area.

The teenager was last seen getting into difficulty at around 2.45pm on Sunday off the coast of Whitmore Bay which is a popular destination for sun-seekers.

However, officers said emergency crews were not alerted to the incident until an hour after she was last seen, something Coastguards said they were “dumbfounded by”.

Once the alarm had been raised, life-savers sprang into action, calling on the skills and local knowledge of RNLI crews as well as deploying a helicopter in the area. But 24 hours later, Coastguards said they had exhausted their efforts to find Hollie and formally handed the investigation over to police.

Mr Lamerton said officers were being “pragmatic” in their search efforts. “We have 40 officers working on this, including specialist search teams trained to work underwater and the force's helicopter,” he said at the time.

“As you can imagine, her family are devastated - both those visiting from Glasgow and those living here in Barry. Hollie has visited the area before, but at this point there is nothing to suggest there is anyone else involved.“

News of the discovery of a body in the hunt for Hollie was described as a ”nightmare scenario“.

Steffan Wiliam, a Barry resident and Plaid Cymru councillor at the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: ”This is awful, awful news - the nightmare scenario we have all been worrying about. This is the most awful news we could have had. Our thoughts go out to the family at this awful time. The pain and grief they must be feeling now is terrible.“

He said that, from the location where police said the body was found, it appeared the teenager had gone outside the bay.

Fontygary is a small seaside village three miles south-west of Barry with a small stony beach and a holiday and leisure park nearby. Currents outside the relative protection of Whitmore Bay will carry an object up or down the coastline and eventually out to sea.

Scores of tributes have also been paid via social network sites such as Facebook.

One site user wrote: “This is so sad. The summer should have been a happy time for her and her family. RIP."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant - Oxford

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: As a successful and growing Security Installat...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Agent - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides specialis...

Recruitment Genius: Software Implementation and Support Consultant

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A consultant is required to pro...

Recruitment Genius: Office Assistant

£12675 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Assistant is required...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn