Tyne & Wear

River Wear search for Ian Bell, 8, enters fourth day

Ian Bell, who went missing in the River Wear
Image caption Ian is thought to have fallen in after a tree branch he was holding snapped

The search for a boy who went missing after falling into the River Wear in County Durham has entered a fourth day.

Ian Bell, eight, of Sunnybrow, was with friends near Willington, Crook, when he fell from an embankment near the Brown Trout pub at Prospect Place.

Specialist divers and RAF and mountain rescue teams have been searching the river since Friday night.

Durham Police said they had been "inundated" with calls from the public offering to help with the search.

Support centre

The police, County Durham Fire Service and members of the local community have so far searched up to Sunderland Bridge, checking the water and embankments up to Durham Rowing Club by boat.

Image caption Specialist divers and mountain rescue teams are among those involved in the search

Ch Supt Andy Reddick said: "We have been overwhelmed by the support and offers of assistance by the local and wider community, however it is important that the public are aware of the dangers when searching the river banks."

On Sunday, Dave Hindmarsh, from Crook, said members of the community had been helping with the search.

He said: "The river's a very, very winding river. It has a lot of build-up of branches. It goes all the way down to Sunderland Bridge and down to Sunderland, so there's a lot of snagging areas."

A community centre at Sunnybrow is being used as a support centre for those affected by the weekend's events.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites