A 15-year-old girl who was swept into the sea by a large wave has died despite a rescue bid by a member of the public, police have said.
The girl was with a group of teenagers on the north pier at Cullercoats Bay in North Tyneside in England on Saturday evening when a large wave hit the beach and she was washed into the sea.
A 999 call sparked a major search operation involving the RNLI, whose station is yards from the pier, Northumbria Police officers and their helicopter, ambulance crews and the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade (TVLB).
The RNLI crew spent about 15 minutes searching rocks around the north pier before they spotted a man in a high-visibility jacket with two dogs, about 100 yards away on the beach, who was administering first aid. Despite his best efforts, he could not revive her.
Three friends – a girl also 15 and a boy and a girl aged 14 – managed to escape unhurt apart from a soaking.
Friends and family members have since visited the beach to lay flowers and to write farewells to Caitlin in the sand.
Friends also set up Facebook pages for tributes to the popular schoolgirl.
Caitlin’s mother Sabrina Cook told ITV News Tyne Tees she had not come to terms with her loss.
She said: “I don’t know where I am at the minute, I’m still expecting her to come in and say ‘I’m here, ma, you shouldn’t have worried’.”
She added: “She loved her friends, her family. She wanted to be a pilot.
“She loved her college friends. She is going to be a really big miss.”