Thanks to Op Union officers, lost boy quickly reunited with family
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Thanks to the quick actions of our Operation Union officers, a boy who was lost on Southend beach, was reunited with his family.
Just before noon on Sunday 11 June, our Force Control Room received a 999 call from the parent of an 11-year-old boy who was separated from the rest of the family, and who needed our help to find him.
As part of Operation Union proactive patrols, officers were in the immediate vicinity and launched into action.
PC James O’Connell headed straight to the parents, obtaining details of the child so they could be circulated to other Union officers. He said:
“Instead of enjoying their time on the beach, the boy’s parents found themselves in every parents' nightmare.
“The beach was really busy, and they couldn’t see where their son had disappeared to.
“This was a real emergency, and it was fortunate that we were already there.”
After establishing that the last sighting was on the beach area at the rear of Adventure Island, PC Joshua Fairchild commenced a search.
Recognising the potential risks associated with being so close to the water’s edge, the Operational Support Group (OSG) officers requested the coastguard and RNLI to join their search. Thankfully they weren’t needed.
OSG Superintendent Philip Stinger explained:
“I’m so proud of my officers’ actions and glad that they were able to find the boy just 35 minutes later and to be able to reunite him with his relieved and grateful parents.
“With the number of visitors to the Southend seafront, it would have been difficult to see a small boy on his own and that’s why they called us.
“I dread to think what could have happened if we hadn’t found him when we did, as we found him a mile out to sea on the mudflats. He just wanted to see the crabs!
“Thankfully he was unharmed and unaware of the drama unfolding to find him.”
Op Union officers will continue to proactively patrol Southend, ensuring everyone is safe.
Please approach them if you need help.
In an emergency, call 999.
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