VIDEO: Footage of huge wave sparks sea search

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This is the moment that sparked a three-hour search of the sea along the Fylde coast after a cyclist was thought to have been swept into the water by a freak wave.

The amateur video footage was taken of the stormy conditions at Gynn Square, North Shore, on Tuesday night.

A search operation was launched to find a cyclist feared to have been swept into the sea by a freak wave.

A search operation was launched to find a cyclist feared to have been swept into the sea by a freak wave.

Taken by a man on his way to work at a nearby hotel, it shows a huge wave crash into the lower Promenade where the cyclist is thought to have been standing.

The man, 21, said he stopped filming at the moment the wave hit and when he looked back he could no longer see the cyclist.

He said: “He was stood there leaning over the wall with his bike away from him.

“When I looked again I could no longer see him – he had disappeared.

“I went into panic mode and called for help.

“I still feel sick to the stomach at the thought of it.”

His 999 call, at 4.50pm, sparked a major search operation that saw a Rescue 122 helicopter from North Wales join three coastguard teams and a lifeboat crew in scouring the coast for the cyclist.

The search was called off at 7.45pm. Emergency services found no trace of the man or a bike.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said although a body could be washed out to sea, the bike would have been unlikely to move far from where it entered the water.

He added: “We looked at the video. You can see a male and the wave but it is inconclusive.”

No missing persons have been reported in the area although police say they will continue to monitor the situation.