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British 16-year-old missing off France's Atlantic coast

The beach at Messanges
The beach at Messanges Open access/Didier belin

French rescue services say that a British teenager who went missing while swimming in the sea on Wednesday is unlikely to be still alive. The 16-year-old disappeared while swimming in the Bay of Biscay off the western town of Messanges.


A patrol boat, three helicopters and a number of gendarmes and other emergency workers were deployed when the boy’s family alerted the authorities but without success.

On Thursday France's Atlantic maritime authority said it was unlikely the boy could have survived.

"The teenager was swimming with his father and they found themselves in difficulty,” a statement said. “The father was able to reach the shore on his own but his son disappeared.”

The boy and his family started a camping holiday at Messanges on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s swim, which officials say was outside the area surveyed by lifeguards, was the first of the holiday, local media report.

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