UK & World News
Blackpool Dog Walker Swept Out To Sea
Rescue crews have called off the search for a man who was swept into the sea in gale-force winds.
The 41-year-old was reportedly walking his dog in Blackpool with another man just after midnight on New Year's Day when the pair ended up in the water.
The second man got to safety and raised the alarm but fears are growing for the missing man, who police say is from the local area.
A search was carried out by RNLI and Coastguard crews from Blackpool and Lytham St Annes, and was assisted by the Lancashire Police helicopter and the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey.
Prince William was part of the RAF crew involved in the search, according to Sky sources.
Stuart Atkinson, watch manager at Crosby Coastguard station, said: "We received a call at 12.13am from Lancashire Police reporting that a male was in the water near the South Pier at Blackpool.
"A second male had been in the water but managed to get to safety and raise the alarm.
"We believe, but it's not confirmed, that they were walking their dogs.
"A search was carried out by coastguard rescue units, the local RNLI lifeboats from Blackpool and Lytham St Annes and the police helicopter.
"The rescue helicopter from RAF Valley was also there providing lighting assistance for the search teams.
"The area was searched and unfortunately we didn't find the 41-year-old male at that time.
"We do believe a life ring was thrown to him and a football. We have located the football but not the life ring."
Lancashire Police said it would now wait for the man's body to wash up on the shore.
Mr Atkinson said the initial search operation was hampered by very strong, westerly gale-force winds.
what do you think?
Why would you go walking a dog in those conditions and that late at night?
Lost count of the number of people who have lost their lives on this stretch of beach and some have been trying to rescue dogs.
So the guys drowning, and somebody kicks a football at him..........!!????
I think the football was thrown at him to give him something to hold on to and hopefully keep him afloat until help came
very sad but when will people learn, keep away from the seashore in these conditions. Too many have died on this stretch of coast.
Just what is wrong with these people. If the sea conditions were bad they should not have been walking near the shore and putting the lives of the rescue workers at risk. If this was the case, I have very little sympathy with what has happened