Two Dewsbury brothers missing off Lancashire coast

A search for two teenagers missing off the Lancashire coast since Saturday night has been called off.

The boys have been named as brothers Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, aged 18, and Ali Athar Shabbir, aged 16, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

The coastguard, RNLI and police were called to reports of three youths in difficulty in the water at Lytham St Annes at 18:40 BST on Saturday.

Their cousin, aged 15, managed to swim ashore and was treated for hypothermia.

Lancashire Police said the searches by HM Coastguard and the RNLI continued well into Saturday night, and the force’s helicopter joined the search in daylight.

Officers said the search had been stood down by lunchtime on Sunday, but “may reconvene later”.

In a statement the force said: “Sadly, despite searching for a number of hours, our colleagues at HM Coastguard and the RNLI have been unable to find [the missing brothers], who got into difficulty in water close to St Anne’s Pier yesterday evening.”

At the scene: Nazia Mogra, BBC North West Tonight reporter

The weather was beautiful yesterday and hundreds of families like mine were enjoying their day out on the beach.

At about 18:00 BST we saw lots of activity outside the RNLI station – people being moved out of the way as crews, ambulances and police cars arrived.

The family, from Yorkshire, was on a day trip, when the three males, aged 15, 16 and 18, went out into the water.

Luckily the 15-year-old managed to swim to safety – the family tell me he is a really good swimmer – but the other two couldn’t get out.

When I left at about 23:00 the search was still continuing with a helicopter and two boats out.

So many people were still stood on the promenade, hoping for some good news.

This morning, police have said the search has resumed and the family has told me the 15-year-old boy has hypothermia and is in hospital. He is clearly shocked by what has happened.

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