River Stour 'man in water' search called off

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A search for a man reported to have fallen into the River Stour in Dorset has been called off.

Portland Coastguard had been co-ordinating the search near Iford Bridge, in Christchurch, since about 19:00 GMT on New Year's Day.

Dorset Police are now investigating the incident and said a witness saw a woman who was seen to have an argument with a man on the bridge.

Insp Pete Little, Bournemouth and Poole CID, urged the woman to come forward.

'Challenging conditions'

"The woman is seen to leave and it is possible that subsequent to this a man has fallen into the river," he added.

"The search and rescue units worked in very challenging conditions with rain and strong winds, but were unable to find any sign of a missing man."

A Portland Coastguard spokesman said no-one had been reported missing and the search would only resume if information emerged about a missing person.

All teams were stood down at about 22:00 GMT.

A rescue helicopter, RNLI, coastguards, police, fire crews and the Wick ferry spent three hours scouring the river and its banks.

Jennet Chisholm, Portland Coastguard watch manager, said the rescue units had been "working in very challenging conditions with rain and strong winds".

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