A large search was under way for two boys who went missing on marshes on the Lincolnshire coast near the mouth of the river Humber.

The body of their friend, Christopher Scott, aged 11, who was with them when they left for a bicycle ride on Sunday, was found on the marshes near Mablethorpe.

The two boys – Nathan Sawyer (9), and Ian Smye (10) had not been seen since Sunday lunchtime when they left for a bike ride to celebrate Ian’s birthday.

The last sighting of them was at Horse Shoe Point on the coast just a few miles from their homes in North Cotes, by a man who saw the figures of three children in the distance at around 1pm.

The alarm was raised on Sunday afternoon by the boys’ families, and police were called after their bikes were discovered abandoned at Horse Shoe Point. The area is known for high tides which can sweep in perilously fast, and it was feared that the boys were cut off.

IRC were contacted on the 5th May 1997 by Lincolnshire Police. They asked if we would be willing to help in a search for two missing children.

The children Ian Srnye aged 10 and Nathan Sawyer aged 9 were missing on an area of open beach and mud flats.

The tide in the area is exceptionally fast coming in, travelling at approx 11 miles per hour.

Three children had been seen playing in the area and one body had been found.

It was agreed that a maximum effort would be mounted by IRC, but as they required members in attendance within 1.5 hours, this would reduce the numbers attending.

A further request was placed for teams on the 7th and 8th of May. Due to the additional notice the team on the 7th would be 19 strong.

Joint search teams of Police Officers and IRC members searched the area on three occasions, without locating the children.

Ian and Nathan’s bodies have still not been found.

The Team

Ray Gray – Team Leader

Chris Park, Miranda Jones, Stuart Kinsey, Paul Wooster, Gary O’Shea, Mike Guymer, Helen Palmer, Russ Green, Mick Jeffery, Paul Mewse, Dave Maddock, Stuart Gray, Sheena McCabe, John Howman, Brian Davison, Glen Lloyd, Willie McMartin, John Fraser, Alan Turner, Brian Philip, Ann Marie Macdonald, Joe Urquhart, Steven Coles, Stan Robertson, John Aitken

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