The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has issued a safety plea after nine children were reported missing at UK beaches in just one day.

UK Coastguard has issued a safety plea for parents to keep a close eye on their children at the beach.

It comes after the Maritime and Coastguard Agency responded to nine separate missing children reports in one day – 15 August – around the UK coast.

At least two reports of missing children were at West Wittering in West Sussex.

All the children were found safe and well.

But, with so many reports coming in during the day, many UK Coastguards Rescue Teams have increased their regular patrols and stayed near the beaches in case of further emergencies.

Speaking on 15 August, the duty controller for UK Coastguard, Dai Jones, said: “We have had quite a few calls about missing children in the last 12 hours.”

“It has been a beautiful day today and it has been very busy, where we have responded to at least nine call outs for missing children,” he continued.

“It’s always a huge worry when children go missing near the beach – not just for the parents but for the UK Coastguard as well. There’s always a possibility that children will stray too close to the sea and without appropriate adult supervision anything could happen,” warned Jones.

“We are urging parents to a keep a close eye on their children when at the beach – thankfully today’s missing children had just wandered off and were located safe and well by the teams,” he added.

Last month, five children, one as young as three, had to be rescued when they began drifting out to sea in two dinghies off Prestatyn beach, North Wales.

The youngsters had tied the two inflatables together and were using spades as paddles.

A 9-year-old boy also had to be rescued at Joss Bay, Kent after he drifted out to sea on his inflatable dolphin.

The boy was out of his depth and was unable to swim.

Jones urged parents to visit RNLI life guarded beaches.

“We urge parents or guardians to make sure that their children are well supervised at the coasy,” he stressed.

“If you can, head for a RNLI life guarded beach – there are over 210 across the UK coast – and agree a recognisable meeting point,” he advised.

“Show your children the nearest lifeguard station and tell your children to head there and tell a lifeguard if they get lost,” he said.

“Busy beaches can disorientate people, especially children, so take advantage of local wristband schemes for younger children,” said Jones.

Last month, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a warning reminding people to take care while playing the popular mobile phone game, Pokémon GO.

It came after the UK Coastguard was called out to investigate after reports that a group of young people had taken a rowing boat without permission to chase a Pokémon.

The incident happened at New Brighton marine lake in the early hours of 19 July.