Teenager feared drowned after taking boat for joyride during storm

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The Independent Online

A teenager was feared drowned yesterday after a rowing boat that he and a friend had taken for a joyride in "atrocious" weather capsized at sea.

The Dorset coastguard launched a rescue operation after the boys, both aged 14, found they could not overcome heavy wind and tide to return to shore early in the morning.

Kyle Moore, from Portland, Dorset, was still missing while his friend, who has not been named, was rescued by an RNLI all-weather lifeboat. He was recovering at home with his family, police said.

Superintendent Darren Curtis, of Dorset Police, said there was a possibility the other boy may have made it back to land.

However, rescuers said it would have been impossible to survive for more than 30 minutes in the freezing water without specialist clothing and equipment. The missing boy was wearing track suit bottoms, a black hooded top, trainers and a sports jacket.

The two teens dialled 999 on a mobile phone after realising they were drifting out to sea in Portland Harbour, at around 2am. Officers who took the call said the boys were "laughing and joking" when they rang in but the boat overturned and the line went dead.

More than 20 police officers and over 30 coastguards took part in the search of the sea and coastline between Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay, across to Ringstead.

Lee Fisher, the coastguard rescue co-ordination manager, said: "We are convinced that the individual we are looking for may well have made it to shore. That's where we are aiming our operations at the moment," he said. "We are not going to give up in this situation. We are not going to look on the downside."

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