Officers investigating reports that a man had fallen into the River Stour in Christchurch are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information to come forward.
Dorset Police received a call from Portland Coastguard yesterday, Tuesday 1 January, stating a major search was underway after a member of the public reported seeing a man fall into the River Stour near Iford Bridge.
The search began at 7pm and involved the Southbourne Coastguard Rescue Team, the Portland Coastguard Rescue helicopter with its forward looking infrared (FLIR) camera, the Mudeford RNLI inshore lifeboat, the Wick ferry, Dorset Police and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.
A search of the river, its banks and surrounding area continued into the night but no one was found.
Dorset Police are now investigating the incident and are particularly keen to hear from a woman who was seen to have an altercation with a man on the bridge.
Inspector Pete Little, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said: “A witness at the scene has reported seeing an altercation between a man and a woman.The woman is seen to leave and it is possible that subsequent to this a man has fallen into the river.
“I am appealing for this woman to contact Dorset Police immediately.
“I would also urge anyone with any information about this incident or who may have seen a man and woman in the area at the time to call 101.
“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.”
Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 01:618. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.