The body of a teenager has been recovered following a two-day search launched after two boys got into difficulty in water near a pier in Essex.
One boy was rescued on Thursday but emergency services had continued their search around Clacton Pier for the second until the discovery was made shortly before 8am on Saturday.
He has been provisionally identified as 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine.
The teenager went missing in the water close to Clacton Pier after getting into difficulty swimming with a friend on Thursday evening.
Essex Police said the cause of death is still being investigated but that it is not being treated as suspicious.
The body of a teenager has been recovered following a two-day search launched after two boys got into difficulty in water near a pier in Essex. He has been provisionally identified as 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine (pictured)
Essex Police said the cause of death is still being investigated but that it is not being treated as suspicious
A spokesman for Essex Police, said: ‘Officers are no longer looking for a teenager who went missing near to Clacton Pier shortly after 6.30pm on July 26.
‘We were called following reports that a body had been found near to Clacton Pier shortly before 8am this morning, Saturday, July 28.
‘Police have provisionally identified him as 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine.
‘The death is not being treated as suspicious but the cause of death is currently unknown and enquiries are ongoing.’
Two pier workers helped keep one of the boys above water until an RNLI lifeboat crew could reach him.
A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the boys in the water and pier worker Stuart Duff issued an emergency call, with two other staff members rushing to help with a lifebelt.
Przemek Jakiela, 40, who works in the pier’s amusement arcade, said he threw a lifebelt to one youngster but was unable to reach him due to the wind and currents.
He threw the belt a number of times before the teenager was able to grab hold of it and Mr Jakiela kept a firm grip on the rope – along with pier bar worker Amy Bayliss – until an RNLI crew managed to pull the boy from the water and take him ashore.
Rescuers had been out for days in Clacton looking for Ben after he got into trouble
He tried to rescue the other boy but was unable to.
‘As I got there I just saw his head go under and he disappeared and did not come back up again,’ said Mr Jakiela. ‘There was just nothing we could do for him.’
Managing director Billy Ball said the pier had recently put in new lifebelts which are each in an enclosed plastic case to stop them from being vandalised.
Friends of the Quartermaine family posted tributes on Facebook after the body was found.
Nikki Marson wrote: ‘I’m so sad that it’s not the outcome everyone prayed for. Thinking of you all at this awful time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.’
People enjoy the weather at Clacton-on-Sea in Essex yesterday before the boys went missing
Laura Wallington wrote: ‘I am so sorry for your loss, from one mother to another I cannot comprehend the pain you must be feeling. Your boy has touched the hearts of many and my sincere condolences are with you and your family at this awful time.’
And, members of the public from around the world paid their respects to the family.
Emma Robertson, said: ‘No mother or Father should have to endure this pain I am so heartbroken for you and your family.
‘I have been following this news from Australia and I have been praying and praying for a good outcome! I am so sorry. Love strength and light sent to you and your family at this devastating time “
Sue Jerrold wrote: ‘I am so sorry for this sad news. I don’t know you but my thoughts and prayers have been with your family since Thursday. And I’m absolutely devastated for you Vicky.
‘R.I.P Ben go fly with the Angels and shine bright like a Diamond xxx’
Ben’s father Mick Smith posted on Facebook, urging his 14-year-old son: ‘Just call please’
Yesterday Ben’s father Mick Smith posted on Facebook: ‘Come on son, be safe. Just call please. I know we never saw each other much. I was here when needed for a chat. Love you, even if you never thought.’
Mr Smith, of St Osyth, Essex, who is believed to be separated from the boy’s mother Vicky Knight, only found out that Ben was missing on social media.
He said: ‘I just want to find our son wherever he may be and to thank all emergency services for all the time and effort… and the general public for how they have all pulled together as a community.’
A file picture of an aerial view of Clacton Pier, where the search for the boy continues today
His cousin Soph, 20, said on Facebook before Ben was found: ‘I truly beg that if anyone has any information regarding Ben Quartermaine please, no matter how small, contact someone.’
She later added last night: ‘I wish I could thank you all individually but I’m drained. All I have to say right now is the emergency services have done the best that they can.
‘The search has been called off until the morning. Thank you all so much and if there are any updates I will let you know.’
And this morning, she told friends: ‘Search continues this morning. Scuba team will be out searching at low tide. Everyone thanks you for your support.’
Witness Ben Hughes-Day said: ‘We watched helplessly as members of the RNLI, coastguard and others searched for two young lads reported missing at sea.
‘A helicopter flying overhead, two boats and several courageous and heroic individuals who were on foot, neck deep in watcher searching the seabed.
‘The absolutely heartache that the families must be going through right now is also unimaginable.’
A statement from RNLI Clacton Lifeboat said: ‘Yesterday evening at 5.39pm Clacton’s Atlantic class lifeboat was launched to a yacht aground near the entrance to the River Colne.
Divers recovered the body of a young man from Jubilee River in Slough, Berkshire, last night
‘While further crew members were awaiting their return, the pagers sounded again, this time to a person in the water at Clacton Pier. Due to crew being on station Clacton’s D class was launched within two minutes with two crew members aboard.
Seven deaths in a week as heatwave started
As the heatwave began at the end of last month, there were seven deaths related to the heat in just a week.
One man died after being pulled from the River Derwent in Derbyshire, while the body of another was taken out of Crown Lakes near Peterborough.
There were also deaths at Audenshaw Reservoir in Greater Manchester, while the body of Ryan Evans, 13, was recovered from a Stoke-on-Trent lake.
The body of a 17-year-old boy was also recovered from the River Aire in Leeds, a man died in a lake in Nutfield, Surrey, and a woman drowned while swimming in the sea off Eastbourne.
‘On arrival on scene there was a male holding on to a life ring that had been thrown down from the pier. Shouts from the pier indicated there was another male in the water. The D Class made a rapid search of the area indicated, but there were concerns the male that was holding on to the ring was loosing their grip.
‘The crew pulled them aboard the lifeboat and landed them on the beach to an awaiting ambulance before returning to the search.
‘The Atlantic lifeboat was called back leaving one crew member aboard the grounded vessel to await Mersea’s lifeboat to complete the recovery.
‘All available shore crew were also requested to help with the search around and under the pier alongside the coastguard mobile units and those of the ambulance service. UK Coastguard’s rescue helicopter also joined in the search.
‘The crews were stood down at 11pm to restart the search again at 5am this morning making best use of a low tide. Both lifeboats searched alongside shore crew and the coastguard mobile unit until 8am. The search for the missing male continues.’
Rescuers search for a 17-year-old boy near Bishops Itchington in Warwickshire yesterday
In Slough, Thames Valley Police were called at about 7.30pm after the man vanished underwater after swimming with friends, and divers found a body.
His death in the man-made river, which is designed to relieve pressure on the River Thames at times of flooding, was not being treated as suspicious.
It comes three weeks after rescue divers from the same team found the body of 17-year-old Dajarn Daly three weeks ago in the same stretch of river.
Inspector Michelle Kneale said: ‘I would like to remind everyone not to swim in the river – there is a weir in this part and the currents are extremely dangerous.
‘As tempting as it may be in the warmer weather, rivers contain hazards below the water’s surface which sometimes cannot be seen.’
A Severn Area Rescue Association team arrive with a boat in Warwickshire yesterday
Meanwhile in Warwickshire, the 17-year-old boy is believed to have got into difficulty while swimming at the Blue Lagoon, near Bishops Itchington at 6.30pm.
Britain experienced its hottest day of the year so far yesterday with 95.2F (35.1C) temperatures – as railways, roads and the NHS struggled to cope.
The Met Office said there is a 70 per cent chance the UK’s highest record temperature for July – 98.1F (36.7C), set in 2015 – could be broken today.
Motorists have been warned ahead of lightning, flash flooding and large hailstones that could hit eastern parts on this afternoon, with a thunderstorm warning in place for the afternoon until just before midnight.
Temperatures are forecast to be in the 90Fs (mid-30Cs) for much of East and South East England, reaching 99F (37C) in London, and could rise higher still if there is a lot of sunshine.
Rescue teams, including police, an air ambulance and firefighters, scrambled to the scene and were seen scouring the 90-acre former lime quarry.
The roads leading into the village were shut as rescue teams tried to find the boy, whose parents were believed to be at the lake.
But the emergency services found a body at 10.50am today after the alarm was first raised at 6.30pm yesterday.
Speaking before the body was found, one local resident said: ‘It really looks bad. There was a load of police and ambulance activity at around 7pm.
‘Since then I’ve seen trailers loaded with canoes being taken up to the lakes which I would assume are being used by the rescuers to search for the lad.
‘The lake is a known area for kids to swim in but it’s dangerous. There are huge reeds under the surface which can easily drag you under.’