Thousands of people have turned out at candlelight vigils across Kent to show support for missing six year old Lucas Dobson and his family.
Candles have been lit in towns from Sandwich and Thanet to Dover, Aylesham, Deal, Folkestone, Tunbridge Wells and further afield at the end of the third day in the search for Lucas, who fell into the River Stour on Saturday afternoon and was swept out by the current.
Vigils were held this evening at the King’s Steps on Margate seafront, at Ramsgate sands by the Rainbow Steps, Broadstairs bandstand, Westgate and more with people asked to wear red, the little lad’s favourite colour, and bring candles.
Abbie Small, who organised the Margate vigil, said: “There was a massive turn out and two of Lucas’s cousins came along and did a little speech.
“We gave them a book with everyone’s prayers and well wishes in to take with them.”
In a short speech at Margate’s event Abbie said: “As many of you are aware we all gather here today for a very special little boy, Lucas Dobson.
“For three days now emergency services and our amazing community have been searching for young Lucas after a he tragically fell into the River Stour. We are all praying he has found his way to the river bank and is waiting to be found.
“All our thoughts and love go out to dear Lucas and all his family. These candle light vigils across the coast of Kent are our way of showing our love and support. So let’s light up the coast for dear little Lucas. Thank you all for coming and showing your love and support. Let’s keep praying.”
In Sandwich there has been a candlelit walk and vigil from Mary’s Church, walking down to the quayside. Molly Stillman, from Ramsgate, was at the gathering. She said: “It was just amazing to see how many people were there. It was sad but it was heartwarming.”
At St George’s Deal people in the church lit a candle for Lucas and his family and spent time together with their prayers and thoughts.
Many people also lit candles at home.
Coastguard, KFRS, Kent Search and Rescue and Kent Police,the RNLI and an army of volunteers have been involved in scouring the river and riverbeds, and outlying areas, in hopes of finding the Deal schoolboy.
Searchers are still out this evening (August 19).
A Justgiving page has been launched to support the family and the search. It says: “We are trying raise funds to support the searches of the local area, to make sure we find him as soon as possible.
“Lucas‘s family and friends are not willing to give up until the little man is safely back in their arms. The funds will allow for the family to carry on and manpower to help with searching the river when emergency services can’t cover other areas.”