Teenager missing off Hartlepool coast is named as Matthew Sherrington
Police have named a teenage boy who has disappeared off the Hartlepool coast after playing in the sea.
Matthew Sherrington, 14, was reported missing to police on Thursday, July 15, after he was last seen in the water near Steetley Pier.
A search operation began at around 6.15pm with Cleveland Police, Coastguard search teams and volunteer crews with the RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats were all involved in the efforts to locate Matthew.
However, on Friday morning, July 16, the search was scaled back after the Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed that the operation has been suspended pending further information.
Cleveland Police have said that officers are still conducting searches in a bid to find Matthew and have asked the public to refrain from organising community searches.
A force spokesperson said on Friday afternoon: “Police are conducting searches on the beach area of the Headland in Hartlepool today, Friday, July 16, in a bid to find missing Matthew Sherrington, aged 14.
“Matthew was reported missing to police yesterday, Thursday, July 15. It was reported that Matthew had been playing in the sea and hasn’t been seen since this sighting.
“Officers immediately searched the beach and sea area along with Coastguard colleagues but have not managed to locate him.”
The statement continued: “Police have been made aware of people organising their own searches and would ask for the public to refrain from doing so for their own safety.
"Officers are doing everything they can in a bid to find Matthew and would ask that people avoid the area to allow the team to carry out their enquiries.
“Specialist officers are in constant contact with Matthew’s family to offer them support at this difficult time.
The alarm was raised just after 6pm on Thursday after HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls from members of the public concerned about a person in the water off Steetley Pier.
A rescue helicopter also took part in the search operation, which went into the night.
Police have urged people to take extra care in open water over the weekend when temperatures are expected to be high.
Anyone with information regarding missing Matthew is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, quoting incident number 117351.
*Any official updates on Matthew’s disappearance will appear on our website at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk