Family of missing John Allen thank searchers

John Allen Mr Allen was last seen on 28 April

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The family of a man, missing after apparently trying to rescue his dog from a Cumbrian river have thanked local people for their support.

John Allen, 76, from Preston, was last seen entering the River Esk estuary at Ravenglass on Monday morning.

It is thought he may have gone into the water after his pet dog got into difficulties.

In a statement, Mr Allen's family expressed "deep gratitude" to local people who were aiding the search.

An extensive land and underwater search has been carried out by police, coastguard and mountain rescue teams without success.

Mr Allen is described as 5ft 8in tall and slim and was last seen wearing a green fleece, green suede trousers and walking boots.

'Unrelenting support'

The family statement said: "Thirteen members of the Allen family enjoyed a memorable few days in the beautiful Eskdale valley.

"John, a keen, capable, mountain walker, and the most senior Allen, took his dog for its usual morning walk on Monday morning - something he loved to do.

"It appears that for some unknown reason John got into difficulties whilst walking near the River Esk estuary around Ravenglass and subsequently never returned from his walk.

"The search continues throughout the area and the family wish to express their deep gratitude to wider family, friends, the local community and numerous emergency organisations, in particular Cumbria Police and Coastguards, for their unrelenting, ongoing support at this most difficult time."

Insp Mark Wear, of Cumbria Police, said it was thought that Mr Allen may have been trying to help his dog out of the water.

"The dog is fine. However, Mr Allen has not been seen since," he added.

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