Divers have been brought in to help with the search for a fisherman who went missing while on a riverbank in Staffordshire.
Angler Roger Wheat was last seen fishing near Ellastone bridge on the River Dove yesterday (January 7).
A rescue operation was mounted at 2pm before being called off late in the evening.
Now an underwater and specialist search unit is helping with the search this afternoon.
Alan McEntire, deputy chairman of the Staffordshire Search and Rescue team, told BurtonLive: “We’re going to do some searching along the banks, see what we can find.
“Obviously there is the police diving team here, they’re searching a few places and that’s all we really know at this point.”
Sergeant Robert Hewitt, of Staffordshire Police , said: “We’ve got Nottinghamshire here, they’re a dive team, they will be assisting with the search today.
“We’ve hoping for Staffordshire search and rescue team as well, which is a volunteer agency, and we’ve also got the Environment Agency here.
“We’ll be searching the river and banks during the course of the day.
“Each of the agencies are specialists in their area.”
News of the Roger’s disappearance has stunned residents.
Pip Price lives just down the road from the bridge.
The 66-year-old, a former landlord of the Red Lion in Hognaston, said: “I’ve never seen anything like this. At one point there were six fire engines, when it first kicked off, probably between 1.45pm and 2pm.
“There was an aircraft from West Yorkshire Police, even the coastguard and all the regular things like the ambulances. But no I’ve never seen anything like this before. Obviously you never like to hear about anything like this.”
One man, who lives on the road, said: “It’s not the first time we’ve had something like this, there’s been one or two incidents over the years.
“It’s very deep, particularly round there, I do hope they can find him.”
Another resident, who lives in the village, said: “In the summer time people come down and play in the river here, in rubber dingies and the lot.”
An Ellastone resident said: “I saw them all, all the police. There were loads of them and four fire engines, all with their lights on. It’s upsetting, to everyone round here.”
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: Emergency services were called to the River Dovefollowing concerns for a missing fisherman. Roger Wheats, who is in his 70s, was last seen fishing from the riverbank near to Ellastone bridge.
“He was wearing a brown Barbour jacket, dark coloured trousers and wellington boots. Thorough and co-ordinated searches have taken place in the area this afternoon and a police cordon is in place. Officers are in contact with Roger’s family and they will be kept updated.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 urgently, quoting incident 329 of January 7.
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