Kent

Lucas Dobson: Body found in river is missing boy

Lucas Dobson Image copyright Chloee Martin
Image caption Lucas Dobson fell into the River Stour in Sandwich on Saturday

A body found in a river is that of missing Lucas Dobson, police have confirmed.

The six-year-old slipped into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, at about 13:30 BST on Saturday while out fishing with his family.

A body found earlier has been formally identified as Lucas, and his family have been informed, Kent Police said.

Hundreds of volunteers joined emergency crews in the search for the boy over the past five days.

Lucas' body was discovered at about 09:15 on Wednesday in the river close to a jetty where he fell in.

Ch Insp Mark Weller said: "We were all holding on to hope to try and find Lucas alive, but sadly I can confirm now that we have formally identified the body as Lucas."

The officer said it was "deeply tragic and upsetting" and Lucas' family were "understandably devastated".

Image caption Floral tributes have been left in Sandwich

Ch Insp Weller added: "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."

Lucas slipped into the river between a boat and jetty on Saturday. His father and two adults jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue him but he was swept away by a strong current.

Image copyright @Cjbarr0
Image caption People lit candles at vigils across Kent on Monday in an attempt to "light up the coast for Lucas"

Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the RNLI, Kent Search and Rescue and the Specialist Group International dive team joined the search for him.

Vigils were held on Monday evening across Kent, with people lighting candles in an attempt to "light up the coast for Lucas".

Peter Faulding, of the Specialist Group International, said search teams had been "working incredibly hard" to find Lucas and it had been a "real community effort".

Each day, hundreds of people gathered outside Sandwich Fire Station to be briefed on the search effort, and what they could do to help.

More than 200 volunteers helped in the hunt, with some coming from outside the county to take part in the rescue.

But on Tuesday they were urged to "stay away" by police as the river had become the "sole focus" in the search.

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