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UPDATE: Search for man in river near Tuckton Bridge
A MAJOR search was being carried out by emergency services on the Bournemouth and Christchurch border last night after reports that a man fell into the fast-flowing River Stour.
Around 50 firefighters, police officers, a Portland Coastguard helicopter and the RNLI were at the scene between Tuckton Bridge and Iford Bridge, late into the evening.
At one stage, RNLI rigid inflatable boat the Mudeford Servant was underneath Tuckton Bridge, while personnel searched the immediate area with torches.
A number of fire officers looked into the river, while carrying out torchlight searches.
Colin Jamieson, a county councillor and member of Dorset Fire Authority, said it is believed there was an altercation between a man and a woman in the Beaulieu Gardens area and the man jumped into the river.
Passer-by Paul Blackwell, 34, of Seafield Road, Bournemouth, said: "We saw the coastguard helicopter going up and down the river for some time and came down to see what was going on. I hope whoever it is, is all right.”
There was also emergency services activity at Iford Bridge.
A Dorset Police spokesperson said last night: “Portland Coastguard have been co-ordinating a search this evening for a man who is believed to have fallen into the River Stour near Iford Bridge in Christchurch.
“The search began at 7pm and since then the Southbourne Coastguard rescue team, the Portland Coastguard rescue helicopter with its forward-looking infra red camera, Mudeford RNLI inshore lifeboat, the Wick Ferry, Dorset Police and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service have been searching the river, its banks and the surrounding area.
Jennet Chisholm, a Portland Coastguard Watch Manager, said: “All the rescue units are working in very challenging conditions with the rain and strong winds, but so far have been unable to find any sign of a missing man.”
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