THE authorities are searching for the body of a 13-year-old British boy who was swept away by strong currents on Monday afternoon (August 15) while playing in the sea with his two younger brothers in Boulogne on the northern coast of France.
Extensive searches were carried out all afternoon and evening after the two younger children, aged eight and 10, managed to return to shore and sound the alarm at about 6.30pm, however as night fell and searches had to be called off there was no sign of the missing teenager.
Lifeguards in the area have stated that the conditions in the Channel mean the chances of a swimmer in good condition surviving more than two and a half or three hours are very slim, and on Tuesday the search spread along 10 miles of coastline where the boy is expected to be washed up.
While the boys’ parents had to be taken to hospital in shock, the authorities pointed out that the area, by the base of a lighthouse where the boys had been playing, was not one where swimming was allowed.
“We don’t know what happened. What is certain is that the children found themselves outside the authorised zone for swimming. It’s a dangerous place, where there is always a current,” said Boulogne deputy mayor Federic Cuvillier, who joined search parties on the beach.