Teenager, 18, feared drowned after ‘trying to rescue 10 children’ caught up in rip tide off Poole Harbour

A TEENAGER is feared to have drowned after reportedly trying to rescue ten children that became caught up in a riptide.

Callum Osborne-Ward, 18, has not been seen since he entered the water at Rockley Point in Poole Harbour, Dorset, this afternoon.

Initial reports stated that Callum had gone into the Harbour to rescue a group of children who were swept away by the strong current.

Horrified parents entered the sea to help recover the children.

Of the 10 children who were recovered from the water three were taken by ambulance to a hospital as a precaution.

During the mayhem, it became clear that holidaymaker Callum was missing.

A massive air and sea search involving coastguard crews, RNLI lifeboats, police, the coastguard helicopter and local boat owners is currently underway.

The incident happened in a stretch of water that is notorious for its rip tides.

Last Friday, two sisters aged 13 and nine, were rescued from the same spot after they were dragged into deeper water.

Witnesses said some of the children had been jumping off the railway bridge that spans the harbour at the time.

They just got carried away.

Holidaymaker Leanne Edwards said: "When we first arrived it was just the Rockley Park staff doing the rescuing. Then three ambulances and two small ambulances arrived.

"We were told that four kids had been swept beneath the bridge. They just got carried away.

"There was one teenage girl on a boat at the end of the pontoon. She was unable to move. Two teenagers were sat beside the pontoon. Another was sat near the mooring."

A spokesman for Dorset Police confirmed that ten people were checked over by the ambulance service and three of them were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

He said: "Following enquiries, it was established that a further person – 18-year-old Callum Osborne-Ward – was unaccounted for and searches are being carried out by the coastguard, police and RNLI to locate him.

Chief Inspector Glen Doran, of Dorset Police, said: "At this current time Callum remains unaccounted for and we cannot say for certain whether he is still in the water or has made it to land and is lost somewhere in the local area.

"We are working with the Coastguard and RNLI to carry out extensive searches of the water and shoreline and I am appealing to anyone who has any information as to his whereabouts – or who sees a young man matching the description given – to please contact us immediately.”


Callum is described as white, 5ft 5ins tall and with short brown hair and has the word 'Dad' tattooed on his chest.

The incident comes after it emerged that 15 people have died in Britain's waters over the past two weeks.

This included a triple tragedy where Edina Olahova, 29, nine-year-old Rana Haris Ali and family friend Muhammad Asim Riaz, 39, drowned in Loch Lomond, Central Scotland, on Saturday evening.

An 11-year-old boy died in a river near Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday and a 13-year-old boy died after getting into difficulties in the River Clyde near Lanark on the same day.

A 16-year-old boy died near the pier at Balloch Country Park in Loch Lomond on Friday.

Teenage boxing champion Frank Varey, 16, drowned in the River Dee, Cheshire, last Thursday, prompting a tribute from Tyson Fury.

Director of HM Coastguard Claire Hughes issued a warning last Friday after nine people had lost their lives in 10 days, before the latest spate of deaths: "We can't emphasise this enough – the sea has no respect for whether you're local or not and whether you’re experienced or not.

"Please always check weather conditions and tide times before going out. The Coastguard will always respond to 999 and do all we can to get people home and safe.

"But be careful. Think twice about what you’re doing at the coast that might put you, your family and friends and even those who come to rescue you in danger. Watch out for each other and those you love. Get home safe.

"We've seen too many tragedies already this summer and we’re sad for those whose families have been left heartbroken by the loss."

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