Teenager drowns trying to save friend

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The Independent Online

A boy of 17 died yesterday after he was caught by a rip current and swept out to sea while trying to rescue one of his friends.

It is believed the teenager and two female friends were using an inflatable dinghy when they got into difficulty at Whitby's West Pier in North Yorkshire, a spokeswoman for RNLI Lifeguards said.

The teenager, who has not been named but is from the Tyneside area, had apparently managed to pull himself to safety using the ladder on the pier wall – before diving back in to help one of his friends and becoming caught in the rip current.

He was brought ashore unconscious by a lifeguard and airlifted to Scarborough Hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.

North Yorkshire Police said the boy's friends were two girls believed to be aged 16.

They were also injured in the incident and were taken to hospital for treatment for hypothermia and secondary drowning.

The drama unfolded just before 1pm yesterday when Humber Coastguard received multiple 999 calls reporting that three teenagers were being swept out to sea.

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