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Solent coastguard calls off search for missing boys
4:41pm Monday 19th August 2013 in News
A major coastguard search launched after two boys were reported missing off an Isle of Wight beach has been called off after the address given by their parents turned out not to be real.
Police are now investgating the incident and the search, which included the Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter, RNLI lifeboat, and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary has been stood down.
The boys - aged six and eight - were reported as last being seen near the historic Appley Tower in Ryde, Isle of Wight, shortly after midday.
Their distressed parents contacted emergency services to report them missing. Reports said the boys - who were both wearing swimming trunks - had travelled across the Solent from their home in Portsmouth and their parents feared they may have gone into the water and been carried out to sea.
Jason Hawkes, 42, who runs the beachfront Dell Cafe, said emergency services were combing the area.
He said: "The police have come in four or five times asking if we have seen two boys matching the description.
"The helicopter has passed overhead several times over the past hours as they combed the water but it has now moved south, following the tide.
"Lots of youngsters have been playing in the water, and there is a chance they got carried away by the tide.
"Hopefully they have just nipped off to get an ice cream or have wandered off somewhere. I feel for the parents, who must be going out of their minds."
Maggie Hill, from the MCA, refused to speculate on what may have happened but said emergency services was "making every effort" to locate the boys.
She added: "We are currently searching for two young boys who were last seen around 12 noon.
"The six year old was wearing pale blue trunks. He has dark brown hair, pale skin, and dark brown eyes.
"The eight year old was wearing red trunks, and has a mole on his left shoulder.
"They were last seen by their parents around midday near Appley Tower on Ryde beach and reported missing a short while later.
"The search involves the coastguard rescue team, our helicopter, and Ryde RNLI lifeboat.
"The police are also looking for the boys on land."
Duncan Smith, from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, said: "Police were called by Solent Coastguard at 1.21pm to a report of two missing boys on the seafront at Ryde.
"Police are assisting coastguard with searches."
But at 3.30pm the coastgaurd issued an urgent appeal for the parents to get back in touch, and just before four thirty, tweeted to say they no longer believed the boys were in danger.
We've searched the sea and shore and we now don't think there are 2 kids in danger. Search stood down. Thanks to everyone for their help.— MCA Media (@MCA_media) August 19, 2013
The agency apparently told the BBC that the address given by the parents "did not check out" and that the police were now investigating.
Major search scaled down after 2 brothers aged 6 & 8 reported missing from Ryde sandson #IsleofWight, address parents gave didnt check out— tom hepworth (@tomhepworthtv) August 19, 2013
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