Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards, rescue hovercrafts and police launched a major search for an autistic teenager who went missing in thick fog on Brean beach on Sunday afternoon (March 11th).

The carers of the 14 year-old girl contacted Brean’s beachwarden at 1.45pm to report her missing after she was last seen leaving the Brean Cove Cafe.

With visibility down to just 70 metres in thick coastal fog, Coastguards tasked The Light Of Elizabeth hovercraft, operated by Burnham-based charity BARB, with scouring the tideline for any sight of the missing girl.

Six teams of Coastguards and BARB crew also searched on foot along the beach, Brean Down, the mudflats and nearby fields.

After being missing for 90 minutes, the girl was eventually found safe and well – but in a shaken state – on the beach towards Berrow.

The carer of the girl, Jason Allen, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I can’t thank the rescue teams enough for their help.”

“I was really panicking and starting to think the worst. The quick response was fantastic.”

Burnham Coastguard Officer Steve Bird added: “We are very happy that the girl was found safe and well.”

“She was in a potentially dangerous situation given the terrible visibility which made co-ordinating the search very difficult and we were grateful to have the extra assistance of BARB’s crew and hovercraft. A helicopter could not fly into the area due to the foggy conditions.”

The girl was visiting Brean beach on a day trip with friends from an autistic school in Gloucestershire.

Police from Burnham joined the search at Brean

Two of the search team returning along the beach in the thick fog