Missing Honiton boy survives night in open

Coastguards winch 11-year-old to safety from beach. Rescuers thrilled he was found unharmed.

AN 11-year-old boy from Honiton has been reunited with his parents after surviving a night in the open during horrific weather.

The unnamed boy was found on a beach earlier today (Sunday) after being reported missing early on Saturday evening. He was winched to safety by a search and rescue helicopter crew.

Portland Coastguard was alerted after it was revealed the boy had been playing with three friends, aged 10 to 16, when he suffered a minor sprain to his ankle. His friends had carried on rock pooling from Seaton to Sidmouth, along the beach.

Beer Coastguard Rescue Team carried out a search from Ham, where youngsters are often seen to play. A search around the main beach, the river Sid and Ham Green revealed nothing.

At just after midday today, the helicopter crew located the boy - hobbling and with no shoes on near the base of the cliff. The helicopter immediately landed nearby and picked him up.

Maddy Davey, Watch Manager at Portland Coastguard, said: “We are absolutely thrilled he has now been found and will shortly be reunited with his parents.

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“We were extremely concerned for his safety given he has been out all night in cold temperatures and in view of the tidal conditions.

“The boy had been reported missing from his home in Honiton on the evening of the 12th. On contacting friends of the missing boy, they reported that he had last been seen at 5pm on the beach whilst on a walk from Seaton to Sidmouth. The tide was rising at the time.”

Ms Davey added: “During the search, Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 106 called to report that they had located the boy on the cliff at Dunscombe.

“The helicopter winched the boy into the aircraft and landed him at Sidmouth to be met by Beer Coastguards, police and an ambulance.

“The boy, who had been found wearing no shoes, appeared to be remarkably unharmed by his ordeal.”

Are you the boy’s family? Would you like to thank the rescue crews? Call Belinda Bennett on 01392 888488.