A search for a four-year-old boy who vanished in the sea while on a trip to the coast has become a body recovery operation, Coastguards have confirmed.
The hunt at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, is continuing, but Coastguards admit it has been altered from one for a missing child to one for a body.
The boy's parents frantically tried to rescue him after he entered the water on the south side of a slipway yesterday evening, but were unable to reach him.
A Swansea Coastguard spokesman confirmed the status of the operation, adding: "The boy will have been in the water for 16 hours now. It is a recovery mission, and the search is continuing."
Four Coastguard rescue teams, four lifeboats, the Coastguard sector manager, police and the RAF helicopter have all been involved in the search and rescue operation, which was launched after a member of the public witnessed the boy's parents' desperate attempts to save their son.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said a search - initially involving a helicopter, Coastguard rescue teams and two lifeboats - began after the alarm was raised.
"The parents of the child have been treated on scene after they went in after the boy and required medical treatment for water ingestion," a spokeswoman said.
"A member of the public dialled 999 at 6.04pm to inform Swansea Coastguard that they had seen two adults go in the water to attempt to rescue a small child and that they needed medical assistance."
A Coastguard spokesman said the air and sea search was scaled back at dusk but continued throughout the night, with more resources added at first light.
Police said divers will attend the area to conduct a further search and a cordon remains in place.