A teenager who went missing after playing in the sea with friends two days ago has been named.
Matthew Sherrington, 14, has not been seen since Thursday evening when he was with pals off the coast of the Headland in Hartlepool.
A major search was carried out after the alarm was raised at 7pm, but yesterday Humber Coastguard said the search was being scaled down after 13 hours.
It said: ‘Survivability has been deemed no longer viable. After consultation with police, the search effort has been suspended.’
Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat operations manager Chris Hornsey said: ‘We have carried out an extensive search for a total of 13 hours of the area and have continued to do so until instructed by Humber Coastguard to stand down.
‘I have to praise the outstanding commitment and professionalism shown by the volunteer crew during the search.’
However, members of the local community have rallied together and have tried to search for Matthew themselves, determined to do all they can to help.
Despite the coastguard standing down, Cleveland Police said it is still looking for the teenager and has asked people to avoid the area while officers do their jobs.
A spokesman said: ‘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 force has also issued water safety during a weekend when temperatures are expected to be high.
They said: ‘Police are urging people to take extra care in open water this weekend when temperatures are expected to be high.
‘Officers are reminding people of the dangers of open water, especially with youngsters who are most likely will be near to rivers and beaches in the sunny climate.’
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