Europe

British teen feared dead off French coast

A picture taken on August 22, 2012 shows the beach in Nice, southeastern France. A 16-year-old British boy has disappeared while swimming off the southwestern coast of France and is unlikely to be found alive, maritime officials say.

A picture taken on August 22, 2012 shows the beach in Nice, southeastern France. A 16-year-old British boy has disappeared while swimming off the southwestern coast of France and is unlikely to be found alive, maritime officials say.  (AFP/File)

A 16-year-old British boy has disappeared while swimming off the southwestern coast of France and is unlikely to be found alive, French maritime officials said on Thursday.

Rescue workers were alerted to the boy's disappearance near the town of Messanges on Wednesday afternoon, France's Atlantic maritime authority said in a statement.

"The teenager was swimming with his father and they found themselves in difficulty. The father was able to reach the shore on his own but his son disappeared," it said.

A patrol boat and three helicopters were deployed to search for the boy, but without success, and the maritime authority said it was unlikely the boy could have survived.

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