Lucas Dobson: Police confirm body found is missing child who fell into river

A body has been found in the search for Lucas Dobson who was swept away by the River Stour on a fishing trip on Saturday

Police have confirmed that the body found this morning is identified as missing schoolboy Lucas Dobson.

Lucas went missing on Saturday afternoon after he fell into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, while on a fishing trip with his family.

The body was found at 10:30am and his family have been informed, Kent Police said on Wednesday.

Hundreds of volunteers joined rescue workers after the boy vanished at around 1.20pm but were told it was “unlikely” he would be found alive.

His father and two adults jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue him but he was swept away by a strong current.

Tribute: Kent Police said his parents are "devastated"

Chief Inspector Mark Weller of Kent Police said: "This is a deeply tragic and upsetting incident for all concerned, and Lucas’ family are understandably devastated.

“We were inundated with offers of assistance from members of the public, who turned out in large numbers to help search for Lucas.

“I know his family are very grateful and touched by the support provided, and I too would like to offer my own personal thanks.”

Since Saturday, volunteers, some coming from outside the county to take part in the rescue, have been scouring the area in the search.

Missing: Police officers search the bank of the River Stour during search operations for the six-year old boy. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Strong current: Police said that it was "unlikely" that the boy would be found alive. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)

"I would also like to recognise the efforts of our partners from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and others who assisted in the search for Lucas," Mr Weller said.

In a statement, Kent Police said: "The body has not yet been formally identified but the family of six-year-old Lucas Dobson, who fell into the water near Richborough Road at about 1.20pm on Saturday 17 August 2019, have been informed and are being supported by Kent Police officers."


Search for boy, six, who fell into river 'unlikely' to find him alive

Volunteers from 'far and wide' helping in search for missing boy

Volunteers asked to stay away from search for missing schoolboy Lucas

On Tuesday, Kent Police said they had seen an “incredible” amount of support from volunteers, enabling them to quickly search a wide area and to rule out several locations.

Weller said: “We are now at a stage where the river is our sole focus, given the time that has passed since Lucas disappeared.

He urged volunteers to stay away from physically searching the river.

“I don’t think the dangers of the water have been lost on anybody since the weekend and, as difficult as it is for us to ask, we are requesting people stay away from physically helping us search the river.

“This is for their own safety as well as that of emergency service workers in the area.”

Experts from the emergency services used specialist equipment in order to find Lucas – including sonar detectors, underwater cameras, divers, dogs and drones.

Vigils were held in towns across the south-east of England for the missing schoolboy while Twitter users shared images of lit candles under the hashtag #LightUpTheCoastForLucas in solidarity with his family.

A gathering in Aylesham was attended by around 200 people who were asked to wear red – Lucas’s favourite colour.

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