Sandwich River Stour search for missing boy Lucas Dobson resumes – Updates

The search for Lucas

The search for missing Lucas Dobson, aged six, continues after he fell in the River Stour yesterday (August 17) while out fishing with his dad and friends.

Lucas’s aunt Maciee Standford said the youngster, from Deal, fell in between the jetty and the boat. Despite his dad and adults in the group immediately going in the water to find him, he disappeared.

UPDATE 7.10pm: Specialist search workers are sonar scanning the bottom of the River Stour in the second day of the search for missing six year old Lucas Donson.

Lucas, from Deal, fell in the river yesterday (August 17) at around 1.20pm

A team is currently out with the scanner equipment, starting at the point where Lucas fell and going downstream towards the Viking Bay river estuary before looping around.

Photo Tyrone Keen

A one mile exclusion zone is in place on the river around the scrap yard at Richborough Road to prevent any form of public water vessel like canoes or boats with engines entering the primary search zone. This is to allow the water to remain as still as possible and to enable the search and rescue teams to carry out their work.

The search will continue until 10pm and then. if necessary, resume in the morning.

The areas that the hundreds of volunteers have been searching are:
Zone 1 – From Castle Cottages heading upstream
Zone 2 – From the Toll Bridge towards the coast

The specialist and experienced search and rescue teams from Kent’s emergency services, partner agencies and charities including KFRS, Kent Police, the Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue and the RNLI are involved in the operation.

Photo Chloe Martin

Desperate family members have been holding on to the hope that Lucas will be returned to them safely.

His cousin Chloe Martin said: “This is my little cousin and I’m so thankful and appreciate everyone’s that’s help. I really hope he’s found and safe. It’s horrible not knowing and thinking all sorts. We just need him back in his parents arms.”

Photo Tyrone Keen

A statement from Kent Fire and Rescue Service issued this evening (August 18) says: “The search for missing six year-old Lucas Dobson has continued throughout the day and will do so until around 10pm tonight.

“Emergency services, partner agencies, charities and members of the public have been working together as part of a coordinated search on land, along the river banks and in the water of the River Stour near Sandwich. The specialist and experienced search and rescue teams will continue their work until light prevents them tonight, however they will return first thing in the morning.

“The search teams have been inundated with support; from people helping to look for Lucas to donations of food, water and torches – Thank you.”

Kent’s emergency services are encouraging people who choose to keep looking tonight to consider their safety and the risks associated with water.  The advice as the light fades remains as:
– Stay a safe distance from the water edge on the banks, do not enter the water.
– Work in pairs, not alone.
– Remain in contact with others and have a phone with you.
– As light fades make sure you have a torch and you are sticking to the main tracks.

Many volunteers, such as Ramsgate residents Tyrone and Katie Keen, have again pledged to stay beyond 10pm to continue the search.

UPDATE 10am: A statement from Kent Police says: “Kent Police was called to Richborough Road at 1.20pm on Saturday 17 August after six-year-old Lucas Dobson fell into the water while fishing.

“He remains missing and the search has resumed today in partnership with Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and volunteers from Kent Search and Rescue. A specialist diving team are also searching the river.”

Superintendent Amanda Tillotson of Kent Police said: ‘I would like to thank those members of the public who are helping to search for Lucas but would reiterate my advice to them to please stay away from the water for their own safety.

“Kent Fire and Rescue Service are co-ordinating the search and held a public safety briefing this morning for those who have offered their assistance. Further details and safety advice are available at www.kent.fire-uk.org.

“This is understandably a very difficult and upsetting time for Lucas’ family and our officers are continuing to support them.”

Briefing: At the briefing police and rescue services asked for no boats on the rivers today and for people to stay at least 3ft away from the banks and search in groups of 2 or more. They suggest taking regular breaks and keeping hydrated and well fed.
People are being split into three groups of search areas and are asked to stick to these areas so as to not hinder the police in their own investigations.

Child care for searchers: Pegwell Bay nursery has opened its doors for searchers who have children. They are letting people drop off drop off their youngsters for a few hours to help with the search. They will be closing at 1pm. The nursery is based at Baypoint Sports Club, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich. Staff are DBS checked and qualified.

UPDATE 9.15am: A public briefing has taken place this morning to coordinate a plan enabling local people to help in the search for missing 6 year-old Lucas Dobson.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Services statement says: “We’ve again been inundated with offers of support – Thank you. The emergency services need people to consider their safety and the risks associated with water. Unless you attended the briefing at Sandwich fire station and are aware of how you can help at this time, we would really encourage you to remain safe away from the area. We have a lot of help – Thank you. ”

A one mile exclusion zone has been set up on the river around the scrap yard at Richborough Road to prevent any form of public water vessel like canoes or boats with engines entering the primary search zone. This is to allow the water to remain as still as possible and to enable the search and rescue teams to carry out their work.

The areas that people are needed in to help in the search operation are in two specific zones:
Zone 1 – From Castle Cottages heading upstream
Zone 2 – From the Toll Bridge towards the coast

Members of the public who are helping in the search, the request is to once again make sure you think about personal safety and not to put yourself or others at risk:
– Stay a safe distance from the water edge on the banks, do not enter the water.
– Work in pairs, not alone.
– Remain in contact with others and have a phone with you.
– If you need to report any details regarding the search call Kent Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

The KFRS statement adds: “The emergency services are very grateful for all the help and support, but it’s paramount that people remain safe at all times – thank you.”

Some 300-plus volunteers are at the scene this morning waiting for further instructions. Divers are currently working in the river.

Police are asking volunteers to form three groups.

Photo Tyrone Keen

Yesterday the search had emergency services covering the area where Lucas went into the water with volunteers split in two groups, one searching from the quay up towards Pegwell Bay and the other searching up towards Richborough.

Advice was to not to go into any overgrown banks and not to go into the water where the current can be 10mph and the water up to 4 meters deep.

Rescue services said they hoped Lucas hds managed to get out of the water and find some shelter and were asking people to check sidetracks that lead off the river.

Lucas is wearing a t shirt and shorts.

The operation so far

The search for a missing 6 year-old boy who fell into the River Stour yesterday (August 17)  has resumed this morning.

The specialist and experienced search and rescue teams from Kent’s emergency services, partner agencies and charities including KFRS, Kent Police, the Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue and the RNLI held a briefing this morning to decide a plan and course of action to look for Lucas.

A public briefing will take place this morning at 9am at Sandwich Fire Station, Ash Road CT13 9HZ, to allow people to understand how best to support the search operation.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service statement says: “The emergency services are asking anyone who is looking to help to attend this briefing before beginning their search – this is important. We are all very grateful for the help and support, but it’s paramount that people remain safe at all times – thank you.”

The search for Lucas began at 1.20pm yesterday after he went into the water while out fishing with his dad. His father went into the water but was unable to find him.

Emergency services worked together to coordinate a search that took in land, the river banks and along and in the water of the River Stour near Sandwich. The coordinated search by the emergency services, partner agencies and charities involved specialist and experienced search and rescue teams.

Hundreds of local people also joined the search.

A Search for Lucas facebook page has been set up to share coordinating information. Click here to find it,

Photo Tyrone Keen

 

5 Comments

  1. If this actually happens and it helps improve mental health services in Thanet then I’m all for it, a family member has been let down for many years by the NHS and numerous other agencies regarding mental health treatment and support, most recently, desperately needing treatment, care and support, self harming and feeling suicidal most of the time, went to a long awaited appointment and was completely let down, being told what wasn’t available for him, told that self harming didn’t warrant any help as it’s a release and does he feel better after ????? also to be told that most people feel suicidal, this appointment was absolutely abhorrent he felt worse than he had before the appointment, completely broken and more desperate than ever, leaving family desperately worried that he would feel he had no other choice. So if this proposal actually happens and helps, then good but if it’s just another empty or insufficient promise then make sure people in Thanet know there is still no help for them

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