Boy, five, missing on east coast danger beach

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The Independent Online

A boy aged five went missing from a beach in Norfolk known for treacherous tides yesterday, seconds after he was seen playing in shallow water.

A boy aged five went missing from a beach in Norfolk known for treacherous tides yesterday, seconds after he was seen playing in shallow water.

Coastguards and police helicopters began searching for Jake Parker when his parents reported him missing shortly after midday. However after hours of searching they had failed to find any sign of the boy, who was on a day-trip from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. The search was due to resume at low tide early this morning, after which it was to be suspended until first light.

Police said a relative lost sight of him for only a matter of seconds and the main line of inquiry was that he had been swept out to sea. He went missing from a crowded beach at Brancaster on the north Norfolk coast, just a few miles from Holme next the Sea, where two children drowned in August 1996.

Rescuers were hoping he was stranded on land somewhere and said the chances of finding him alive if he had been swept away were slim.

Mark Clark, a spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: "The chances of finding him alive are fading fast."

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