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Boy, 14, believed to have drowned after going missing in the Thames
18 July 2022, 20:31 | Updated: 18 July 2022, 20:43
A 14-year-old boy is believed to have drowned after getting into difficulty in the Thames in Richmond.
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Police were alerted at 4:43pm that the teenager had gone missing after entering the water at Tagg's Island in Hampton.
An extensive search was carried out involving all three emergency services and members of the public.
Officers responded with paramedics and the London Fire Brigade but efforts to locate the boy were unsuccessful and at 6:40pm the rescue operation was brought to an end.
Efforts to recover his body will continue into this evening, police said. His next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers.
It came as temperatures across the UK soared to a record high, with the mercury pushed over 38C in parts of the country.
Superintendent Richard Smith, from the South West Command Unit, said: "Despite the very best efforts of all involved, we must now sadly conclude that this young boy has died.
"His death is a tragedy and I cannot begin to imagine what his family will be going through.
"All our thoughts are with them.
"I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water.
"Please don’t. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong.
"To young people in particular, I would urge you to be the person in your group of friends who says no and reminds others about the dangers.
"Your intervention could save a life and save another family from experiencing such an awful loss."
It comes after a 16-year-old boy died today after getting into difficultly while swimming in Bray Lake in Maidenhead.
Thames Valley Police said they were called at 11:45am to reports of the teen in trouble.
Multiple emergency responders raced to the scene but police confirmed that following this search, the body of a boy was located at just after 1.30pm and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Superintendent Michael Greenwood, the LPA Commander for Windsor & Maidenhead said: “This is an absolute tragedy in which a young boy has died after getting into difficulty in the water of Bray Lake.
"The boy’s next of kin have been notified and are being offered support at this extremely difficult and traumatic time.
"My thoughts, and the thoughts of all of us at Thames Valley Police are with the boy’s family and his friends, and we would ask that their privacy is respected."
The heatwave has caused a number of tragedies with people swimming in unsafe open water.
A 13-year-old boy died after going missing in a river in Ovingham, Northumberland, and emergency services have made urgent appeals for people to stay out of dangerous waterways and reservoirs.
A 16-year-old boy died in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, and a 50-year-old man died in a reservoir near Leeds.
Northumbria Police said a body was found after an extensive search for the missing boy in Ovingham, which started shortly before 4.15pm on Sunday.
Police in Leeds urged people to stay away from dangerous bodies of water following the death at Ardsley Reservoir.
Officers were called to a report that a man had got into difficulty in the water at 5.30pm on Saturday and the body of the 50-year-old was found on Sunday.