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Massive search for missing teenager

Lifeboats News Release

Weymouth RNLI all-weather and Inshore lifeboats were launched at approximately 8.30pm on Wednesday 27 May 2020 to search for a missing snorkeler who was overdue from a snorkelling trip, who was reported to have last been seen at Church Ope Cove on Portland at approximately 5pm.

The Inshore lifeboat at first carried out a close inshore search from Portland Harbour to Portland Bill while the All-weather lifeboat carried out a search from 0.5 miles from the shore from Grove Point to Portland Bill.

As time went on the search was expanded and other assets were brought into the search. In addition to the two lifeboats, two Coastguard helicopters, two war ships and other vessels, including two rescue craft from the cruise ship Britannia, in the area were called in to the search. The search continued all night with Swanage lifeboat also joining in.

The search continued all day on Thursday 28th with lifeboats returning to station to change crews refuel and head back out again. At first light two fixed wing aircraft also joined in the ever expanding search area with some areas close to shore being searched many times.

Coastguard cliff rescue teams searched the shoreline from Chesil Cove to Portland Harbour.

Having searched a huge area of sea from East and West of Portland Bill after nearly twenty four hours the surface search was called off by Solent Coastguard, with Weymouth All-weather lifeboat being the last to leave the search area and returned to station at about 5pm on Thursday 28th.

For more information contact Dorset Police.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.