Specialist underwater team brought in search for missing Sunnybrow boy, eight
1:52pm Monday 30th April 2012
POLICE searching for a missing eight-year-old boy have brought in a specialist underwater search team.
Ian Thomas Bell is believed to have fallen into the River Wear at Willington, County Durham, on Friday night.
Ian, aged eight, from Sunnybrow, near Crook, was playing with his friends in the area of the Brown Trout pub near the river Wear.
Throughout the weekend, Durham Police have been co-ordinating an extensive search for Ian, working with the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Mountain Rescue, Durham County Council's Civil Contingency Unit and the Northumbria Police marine unit.
A specialist team from Derbyshire Police are also at the scene today, using an underwater camera.
Chief Inspector Graham Milne, said today: "This has been a huge community effort, we've been overwhelmed by the support of local people who have turned out in force to help find Ian.
"Sadly, as this is the fourth day of the search, we think the likelihood of finding Ian alive is fading. Ian's family are aware of this, and we're keeping them updated with any developments."
As the search continues, police are reminding people to consider their own personal safety when negotiating the area around the river bank. The river is still full and the banks will be slippery underfoot.