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Formby beach saw the most missing children reports over May Bank Holiday weekend than anywhere else

Formby beach saw the most missing children reports over the May Bank Holiday weekend than anywhere else in the U.K.

On Saturday, Merseyside Police issued warnings to the public saying: "Parents - If you're visiting the beach or busy areas to enjoy the sunshine this weekend please remember to keep a close eye on your little ones. In crowded areas it is easy to become separated and lose sight of a child. Should this happen and you cannot locate your child call 999."

UK Coastguard has now issued a plea for parents to keep a close eye on their children at the beach this coming weekend after responding to a total of 94 missing children reports over the May Bank Holiday weekend, 5th to 7th May across the UK coast.

The largest concentrations of missing children occurred at Formby Beach in Merseyside where a total of 13 children were reported missing and also in Wittering in West Sussex, 13 children missing as well. All the children were found safely, but with so many reports coming in during the day, many UK Coastguards Rescue Teams have increased their regular patrols and stayed near the beaches in case of further emergencies.

David Jones, Duty Controller for UK Coastguard said: "Due to the recent hot weather we have been experiencing, our HM Coastguard Operations Centres were inundated with 999 calls reporting missing children at beaches all across the UK. Several reports were also made where people had found children who’d lost their parents."

"It’s always a huge worry when children go missing near the beach – not just for the parents but for our Coastguards as well. There’s always a possibility that children may get into difficulties even in shallow water or injure themselves on slippery rocks. Thankfully last weekend’s missing children had just wandered off and were located safe and well by the Coastguard teams, lifeguards or their parents. However, significant resources were used pursuing these types of reports."

"We are urging parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children at the beach and know where they are at all times. If you can, head for a life guarded beach and agree a recognisable meeting point that’s easy to find. Show your children the nearest lifeguard station or a recognisable location and tell them to head there if they get lost. Make sure you tell the Coastguard or a lifeguard immediately if you lose sight of your child. Busy beaches can disorientate people, especially children, so take advantage of local wristband schemes wherever possible."

In time for the busy summer period ahead, HM Coastguard are urging members of the public to visit their coastal safety website: which gives beach goers top tips on how to stay safe on the coast and links to life guarded beaches.

Merseyside Police Dog section said: "A huge thank you to the group of people from Manchester for assisting us with finding a missing 8 year old boy at Formby Beach yesterday evening, Monday 7th May. Not only did they find him but they had him laughing and smiling when we arrived!"

It is always a good idea to take a photo of your child in the morning when you go somewhere busy like the beach, then you will have a pic of exactly what they were wearing that day and the photo can be shared with emergency services straight away.

Thanks to Alex Bone for the above photo taken on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May on Formby beach.

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