Sussex

Toddler lost in Littlehampton field triggers large search

A field of rapeseed
Image caption Members of the public joined the search for the lost boy

A huge search effort had to be launched to find a toddler who wandered into a field of rapeseed taller than he was and disappeared from view.

The two-year-old ran off to look for a dog being walked by his father, in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

Despite being able to hear his cries, his family could not find him among the tall stalks and the alarm was raised.

A police helicopter, about 50 officers and staff and members of the public joined the search for the lost child.

An infra-red camera on the helicopter eventually enabled police to locate the youngster, about two hours after he went missing on Sunday afternoon.

Insp Gav Whitehouse said the search had been hampered by the height of the crop, which meant those looking for the boy were also unable to see each other.

"He was reunited with his family and checked over by paramedics, but did not seem to be any the worse for wear following his ordeal," the officer said.

"Indeed, I could hear him crying from some distance and that's always a good sign."

He added: "I would like to thank everyone who responded, including HM Coastguard and other emergency services, and especially local members of the public who volunteered to help."

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