Hunt for teenage brothers missing off Lancashire coast stood down

16 August 2020, 09:48

Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, (left) and Ali Athar Shabbir (right), 16, from Dewsbury
Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, (left) and Ali Athar Shabbir (right), 16, from Dewsbury. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A search for teenage brothers who got into difficulty in water in Lancashire has been stood down.

An extensive air and sea hunt was unable to find Ali Athar Shabbir, 16, and Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Police were alerted after they went missing close to St Annes Pier in Lytham St Annes at about 6.55pm on Saturday.

The two teenagers who went missing in water off the Fylde coast in Lancashire were named by police on Sunday as the search was ended.

Their 15-year-old cousin, also from Dewsbury, managed to swim to shore. The youngster, who was not named, remains in hospital.

The teenagers went missing near St Anne's pier (file photo)
The teenagers went missing near St Anne's pier (file photo). Picture: Getty

Danny Jamson, area commander for HM Coastguard, said: "Following a comprehensive search effort made by all, sadly the brothers have not been found and a decision has been taken to suspend the search.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved."

"Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the missing man and boy."

Coastguard rescue teams from Lytham and Fleetwood and the coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon attended the scene on Saturday after they received a 999 call just before 6.40pm, said HM Coastguard.

RNLI lifeboats joined the search (file pic)
RNLI lifeboats joined the search (file pic). Picture: PA

They were joined by RNLI lifeboats from Lytham St Annes and Blackpool, and independent rescue service Southport Lifeboat, together with Lancashire Police and North West Ambulance Service.

The coastguard helicopter is no longer on site and a police helicopter has joined the search on Sunday, HM Coastguard added.

Lancashire Constabulary said the family have been informed and are being supported by trained officers.

A spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts remain with them at this incredibly sad and difficult time. Our thanks goes to HM Coastguard and the RNLI for their efforts, along with everyone who has offered their support and well wishe