Boy, 14, feared drowned after disappearing in the sea off Hartlepool

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Matthew Sherrington, 14, is feared to have drowned in the North Sea off Hartlepool. (Police)
Matthew Sherrington, 14, is feared to have drowned in the North Sea off Hartlepool. (Police)

A schoolboy is feared to have drowned in the North Sea off Hartlepool.

Matthew Sherrington, 14, was last spotted playing in the water near Steetley Pier on the Headland, on Thursday, police said.

Humber Coastguard launched an extensive operation, with two Hartlepool RNLI lifeboats searching throughout the night before standing down in the morning.

The coastguard said: “Survivability has been deemed no longer viable. After consultation with police, the search effort has been suspended.”

Chris Hornsey, Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: "We have carried out an extensive search for a total of 13 hours of the area during Thursday evening and the early hours of Friday morning working alongside our Coastguard and Police colleagues and have continued to do so until instructed by Humber Coastguard to stand down."

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Hartlepool, County Durham, England
Matthew was last spotted playing in the water close to Steetley Pier. (Getty)

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A Cleveland Police spokesperson said on Friday: “Police are conducting searches on the beach area of the Headland in Hartlepool in a bid to find missing Matthew Sherrington aged 14.

"Matthew was reported missing to police yesterday, Thursday, July 15.

"It was reported that Matthew had been playing in the sea and hasn't been seen since this sighting.

"Officers immediately searched the beach and sea area along with coastguard colleagues but have not managed to locate him."

Signs in the area warn of rip currents and advise there is no lifeguard service in operation.

Police said specialist officers are in constant contact with Matthew’s family to offer them support.

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