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Incidents

Kent Fire and Rescue Service attends a range of incidents including fires, road crashes, flooding, rescues from height, mud or confined spaces. It also supports other agencies including Kent Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service and the Martime and Coastguard Agency on a regular basis.

The incidents shown on this page are just a sample of those which may be of interest to the public and media.

Incident
Search for missing boy in River Stour near Sandwich
Incident details
The following statement has been released by Kent Police. Our thoughts are with the family and the Sandwich community at such a tragic time. 
 
Kent Police statement: 
 
'A body has been found during the search for a child who fell into the River Stour at Sandwich. 
 
'The body has not yet been formally identified but the family of six-year-old Lucas Dobson, who fell into the water near Richborough Road at about 1.20pm on Saturday 17 August 2019, have been informed and are being supported by Kent Police officers.' 
 
Read more from Chief Inspector Mark Weller on Kent Police's website. 
 
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LATEST: 09:10 Tuesday 20 August 
 
As the search for six-year-old Lucas Dobson continues along the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent Police has issued a statement of thanks to those who have helped with the search, and is advising members of the public to now refrain from attending the area so experts have space to continue their specialist work at the river. Sandwich fire station will however remain open as a hub for the community. 
 
Kent Police statement: 
 
Kent Police and partner agencies continue to search for a young boy who fell into a river in Sandwich. 
 
Officers were called to the incident in Richborough Road at 1.20pm on Saturday 17 August after six-year-old Lucas Dobson fell into the water while fishing. 
 
A large scale search has taken place over the past three days in the River Stour and surrounding areas by the emergency services and hundreds of willing volunteers. 
 
As of Tuesday 20 August 2019 officers are advising members of the public to refrain from attending the area in order that experts have the space to continue their specialist work at the river. 
 
Superintendent Amanda Tillotson of Kent Police said: ‘We have seen an incredible amount of support from volunteers within the local community and from further afield. As such, we have been able to search a wide space in such a short period of time. This has ruled out several areas and therefore our attention turns exclusively to the river. 
 
‘I speak on behalf of all the emergency services when I say thank you for the help we have received – the efforts and compassion of volunteers has been heart-warming and their value and help cannot be overstated. 
 
‘However, we are now at a stage where the river is our sole focus, given the time that has passed since Lucas disappeared. 
 
‘I don’t think the dangers of the water have been lost on anybody since the weekend and as difficult as it is for us to ask, we are requesting people stay away from physically helping us search the river. This is for their own safety as well as that of emergency service workers in the area. 
 
‘Experts from across all the emergency services including Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and Kent Search and Rescue continue to use specialist equipment in order to locate Lucas. This includes sonar detectors, underwater cameras, divers, dogs and drones. 
 
‘Once again, I thank everyone for their hard work and our thoughts are with Lucas’ family at this time.’ 
 
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LATEST: 09:40 Monday 19 August 2019 
 
A public briefing will take place this morning at 10am at Sandwich Fire Station, Ash Road CT13 9HZ to allow people to understand how best to support the search operation today. 
 
Members of the public helping to search are asked to respect the property of others. To report anything related to the search to the police, please call 101 quoting 17-766. 
 
 
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LATEST: 09:00 Monday 19 August 2019 
Specialist and experienced search and rescue teams have resumed the search for 6-year-old Lucas Dobson this morning. 
 
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LATEST: 19:10 Sunday 18 August 2019 
The search for missing six year-old Lucas Dobson has continued throughout the day and will do so until around 10pm tonight. Emergency services, partner agencies, charities and members of the public have been working together as part of a coordinated search on land, along the river banks and in the water of the River Stour near Sandwich. The specialist and experienced search and rescue teams will continue their work until light prevents them tonight, however they will return first thing in the morning. 
 
The search teams have been inundated with support; from people helping to look for Lucas to donations of food, water and torches - Thank you. 
 
Kent’s emergency services are encouraging people who choose to keep looking tonight to consider their safety and the risks associated with water. 
The advice as the light fades remains as: 
- Stay a safe distance from the water edge on the banks, do not enter the water. 
- Work in pairs, not alone. 
- Remain in contact with others and have a phone with you. 
- As light fades make sure you have a torch and you are sticking to the main tracks. 
 
There are two zones that local people are helping with: 
Zone 1 - From Castle Cottages heading upstream 
Zone 2 - From the Toll Bridge towards the coast 
 
Anyone who needs to report any details regarding the incident should call Kent Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 
 
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UPDATE: 11:45 Sunday 18 August 2019 
 
Kent Police release information: 
 
Search continues for boy who fell into river in Sandwich 
The search for a child who fell into the River Stour in Sandwich has resumed today (Sunday 18 August 2019). 
 
Kent Police was called to Richborough Road at 1.20pm on Saturday 17 August after six-year-old Lucas Dobson fell into the water while fishing. 
 
He remains missing and the search has resumed today in partnership with Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and volunteers from Kent Search and Rescue. A specialist diving team are also searching the river. 
 
Superintendent Amanda Tillotson of Kent Police said: ‘I would like to thank those members of the public who are helping to search for Lucas but would reiterate my advice to them to please stay away from the water for their own safety. 
 
‘Kent Fire and Rescue Service are co-ordinating the search and held a public safety briefing this morning for those who have offered their assistance. Further details and safety advice are available at www.kent.fire-uk.org. 
 
‘This is understandably a very difficult and upsetting time for Lucas’ family and our officers are continuing to support them.’ 
 
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UPDATE: 09:15 Sunday 18 August 2019 
A public briefing has taken place this morning to co-ordinate a plan enabling local people to help in the search for the missing 6 year-old boy. We’ve again been inundated with offers of support - Thank you. The emergency services need people to consider their safety and the risks associated with water. Unless you attended the briefing at Sandwich fire station and are aware of how you can help at this time, we would really encourage you to remain safe away from the area. We have a lot of help - Thank you. 
 
A one mile exclusion zone has been set up on the river around the scrap yard at Richborough Road to prevent any form of public water vessel like canoes or boats with engines entering the primary search zone. This is to allow the water to remain as still as possible and to enable the search and rescue teams to carry out their work. 
 
The areas that we need people to help in the search operation are in two specific zones: 
Zone 1 - From Castle Cottages heading upstream 
Zone 2 - From the Toll Bridge towards the coast 
 
Members of the public who are helping in the search, the request is to once again make sure you think about personal safety and not to put yourself or others at risk: 
- Stay a safe distance from the water edge on the banks, do not enter the water. 
- Work in pairs, not alone. 
- Remain in contact with others and have a phone with you. 
- If you need to report any details regarding the search call Kent Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 
 
The emergency services are very grateful for all the help and support, but it's paramount that people remain safe at all times - thank you. 
 
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UPDATE: 08:00 Sunday 18 August 2019 
The search for a missing 6 year-old boy who fell into the River Stour on Saturday 17 August has resumed this morning. The specialist and experienced search and rescue teams from Kent's emergency services, partner agencies and charities including KFRS, Kent Police, the Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue and the RNLI held a briefing this morning to decide a plan and course of action to look for the young boy. 
 
A public briefing will take place this morning at 9:00am at Sandwich Fire Station, Ash Road CT13 9HZ to allow people to understand how best to support the search operation. 
 
The emergency services are asking anyone who is looking to help to attend this briefing before beginning their search - this is important. We are all very grateful for the help and support, but it's paramount that people remain safe at all times - thank you. 
 
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UPDATE 21:40 Saturday 17 August 2019 
The search for a missing 6 year-old boy will continue until around 10pm tonight and will begin again in the morning. Emergency services have been working together to coordinate a search that takes in land, the river banks and along and in the water of the River Stour near Sandwich. The coordinated search by the emergency services, partner agencies and charities has involved specialist and experienced search and rescue teams. There has also been a large number of local people helping to do their bit in trying to find him. KFRS has over 30 members of staff at the scene from firefighters, the water rescue unit, technical rescue; who have been using the drone, and Buzz the KFRS search and rescue dog who is also part of the operation. The search has involved each agency working in zones to focus the coordinated efforts. Members of the public have also been allocated zones in the search. Assistant Director for Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Chris Colgan said: "We're all incredibly grateful to everyone who has given everything today to try and locate this little boy. Our thoughts are with him and his family tonight at this very difficult and emotional time. I would like to appeal to people who have come to Sandwich to join the search - if you continue overnight please make sure your own life isn't placed at risk. We have issued some safety advice about keeping clear of the river's edge, staying on the main tracks, working in groups and never alone and please make sure you are equipped with a phone and torches. We really want people to stay as safe as possible - thank you." 
 
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UPDATE: 20:00 Saturday 17 August 2019 
Emergency services including KFRS, Kent Police, the Coastguard and South East Coast Ambulance Service remain at the scene. Superintendent Amanda Tillotson at Kent Police said: ‘Whilst we appreciate the support we have received from members of the public who wish to help in the search, we would strongly advise people to stay away from the water. This is for their own safety and to ensure those working within the emergency services can focus solely on locating the missing boy.’ 
 
Anyone who wishes to report any details regarding the incident should call Kent Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. 
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UPDATE: 19:40 Saturday 17 August 2019 
We've been inundated with offers of support - Thank you. However the emergency services want to advise that as light fades, we need people to consider their safety and the risks associated with water. Unless you attended the briefing at Sandwich fire station and are aware of how you can help at this time, we would really encourage you to remain safe in your homes. We have a lot of help - Thank you. 
 
Advice for those in the search for the 6 year-old: 
- Stay a safe distance from the water edge on the banks, do not enter the water. 
- Work in pairs, not alone. 
- Remain in contact with others and have a phone with you. 
- As light fades make sure you have a torch and you are sticking to the main tracks. 
 
There are two zones that local people are helping with: 
Zone 1 - From Castle Cottages heading upstream 
Zone 2 - From the Toll Bridge towards the coast 
 
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UPDATE: 6:45pm Saturday 17 August 2019 
A briefing for local people helping in the search for a missing 6 year old boy who has fallen in the river at Sandwich will take place at 19:00 (7pm) at Sandwich Fire Station, Ash Rd CT13 9HZ. Those who are helping are advised to attend to understand how they can assist in the search in a safe way, without placing themselves at risk, especially as the light begins to fade. Thank you. 
 
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UPDATE: 2pm Saturday 17 August 2019 
Emergency services are working together to search for a young child who has fallen in to the River Stour close to Richborough Road and the A256 at Sandwich. Crews together with police officers, and others are searching the river using the service boat. The Coastguard helicopter is supporting from an aerial perspective.
Start date and time
17/08/2019 13:28
Stop date and time
21/08/2019 10:17
Richborough Road
Richborough
Kent
CT13
United Kingdom
Number of fire engines
3
Special and Support vehicles
  • Technical rescue unit
  • Water safety unit
  • Inshore boat
Partner agencies
  • Kent Police
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb)
  • SECamb Hazardous Area Response Team (HART)
  • HM Coastguard
  • Kent Search and Rescue (KSAR)
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