A search is under way for a 15-year-old boy who has been reported missing in a lake at a shopping centre.

Essex Police were called out on Friday night after reports that a teenager had gone missing at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock.

Superintendent Craig Saunders said: “Our investigation has identified that he was last seen at around 8.50pm on the lake.

“We will be working with specialist search teams to carry out an extensive search of the lake and surrounding area today.”

The incident comes as the UK recorded its third hottest day ever and the Coastguard had its busiest day for more than four years on Friday as Brits enjoyed the scorching temperatures.

People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach on the third hottest day on record. Credit: PA

Many calls were about people being cut off by the tide, missing children and swimmers getting into difficulty.

The total number of UK incidents was 329, including 232 callouts for coastguard rescue teams, 129 for lifeboats, 22 requiring aircraft and three for a hovercraft.

Julie-Anne Wood, of the Coastguard, said: “Yesterday was a beautiful day weather-wise in much of the UK. It was less beautiful a day for those who got themselves into trouble and had to be rescued. Some people will remember July 31 for all the wrong reasons.

“We completely understand that people want to enjoy the coast. We also know that even the most experienced swimmer, paddleboarder and walker can be caught out by currents and tides respectively. We’re heading into some more good weather and we would really ask you to check and double check the tide times – put a timer warning on a smartphone to remind you – be aware of things like rip currents, and make sure you have a means of contacting us if things do go wrong.

“As the figures show, we’ll always respond when someone calls 999 and asks for the Coastguard, we’ll always answer distress on VHF (radio) and we’ll always do everything we can to rescue those in need. All we ask in return is that you take extra care at the coast – it can be unmerciful to the unwary and even to those who know it well."