Holidaymaker, 29, feared to have drowned near Blackpool after 'accidentally getting out of his depth'

A holidaymaker feared to have drowned off the coast of Rossall vanished after accidentally getting out of his depth.

The 29-year-old from Bolton was in the surf on Saturday – one of the hottest days of the year – with friends when he suddenly went under the waves and failed to resurface.

The sand can be treacherously uneven, especially near the groynes which extend down the beach and into the water.

A five-hour search involving RNLI lifeboats and the Coastguard – including the helicopter from North Wales, which was recalled shortly after flying over the resort while on a training exercise – was launched after the alarm was raised at around 3.25pm on Saturday.

A lifeboat from the RNLI searching the sea off the coast of Rossall on Saturday afternoon, after a 29-year-old holidaymaker from Bolton vanished while playing in the water with friends (Picture: Dave Nelson)

The resort’s coroner’s offfice yesterday said no date had been set for the opening of the tourist’s inquest, which will seek to determine exactly what happened – and if anything could be done to prevent further tragedies.

Officials fear the number of people holidaying in the resort this year rather than abroad, like in Spain where the tides tend to be less treacherous, could lead to more deaths.

It comes after a record weekend for Coastguard rescuers in Fleetwood and Knott End, where volunteers faced a relentless two days of searches in scorching heat and on packed Promenades and sand.

Jobs included investigating an object in the water at Norbreck, which turned out to be a dead porpoise; a missing five-year-old; several injuries including an unconscious person; and a number of groups being surrounded and cut-off by the incoming tide.

Paul Little, station officer for Blackpool and Lytham’s Coastguard team, said it wasn’t its busiest weekend, though, with three jobs on Saturday, two yesterday, and two by 1pm today.

He said: “We weren’t quiet either.”

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