Fairlop Waters: Body of boy, 17, found after teen disappears while going for a swim

A body has been found in the search for a teenage boy who disappeared after going for a midnight swim in an East London lake.

Emergency services rushed to the scene shortly after 12.30am yesterday (Monday, July 4) following reports of a 17-year-old boy in Fairlop Waters in Ilford.

Police today (July 5) confirmed that a body has been found during the search after a search by officers, the London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade and specialist divers. A police helicopter was also dispatched to the scene. The family of the 17-year-old has been informed.

Pictures show tape around the entrance to the lake with dog units, two police vans, a police car and park patrol car stationed inside. The lake also has an inflatable assault course.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police force told MyLondon : "Police were called to Fairlop Waters, Ilford, shortly after 12.30am on Monday, July 4 to reports of a concern for safety. Officers were told a 17-year-old male had willingly entered the water to swim and had failed to return to the shore.

"Colleagues from the National Police Air Service, London Fire Brigade and the Marine Policing Unit carried out initial searches. The area was also searched by specialist divers. A body was subsequently recovered from the water on Monday evening. The teenager’s family has been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

"The death is currently being treated as unexpected. Fairlop Waters will remain closed to the public while our enquiries continue."

The boy's identity has not yet been released, but a friend at the scene said that the missing 17-year-old boy told MyLondon : "He's like a brother. We just saw him two days ago in our garden."

An anonymous source said that the centre of the lake at Fairlop Waters is 'very deep' in the middle and spoke of previous incidents at the site.

They said: "It's very deep out there in the middle. Way back a car went in, about 20 years ago, someone drove a car in there and drowned themselves. Now and again you hear of people going in drunk. Normally there are security patrols but they only have one patrol dog here at night. It's ridiculous really for a site this size."
Fairlop Waters in east London Credit: BPM Media

A body has been found in the search for a teenage boy who disappeared after going for a midnight swim in an east London lake.

Emergency services rushed to the scene shortly after 12.30am yesterday (Monday, July 4) following reports of a 17-year-old boy in Fairlop Waters in Ilford.

Police today confirmed that a body was found after a search by officers, the London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade and specialist divers.

A police helicopter was also dispatched to the scene. The family of the 17-year-old has been informed.

Pictures show tape around the entrance to the lake with dog units, two police vans, a police car and park patrol car stationed inside. The lake also has an inflatable assault course.

Police van at the scene in east London Credit: BPM Media

'Death treated as unexpected'

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police force said: "Police were called to Fairlop Waters, Ilford, shortly after 12.30am on Monday, July 4 to reports of a concern for safety.

Officers were told a 17-year-old male had willingly entered the water to swim and had failed to return to the shore.

"Colleagues from the National Police Air Service, London Fire Brigade and the Marine Policing Unit carried out initial searches.

"The area was also searched by specialist divers. A body was subsequently recovered from the water on Monday evening.

"The teenager’s family has been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

"The death is currently being treated as unexpected. Fairlop Waters will remain closed to the public while our enquiries continue."