Major river search in Ipswich

A MAJOR rescue operation was launched after reports that a baby's car seat had been spotted floating in an Ipswich river.

POLICE, firefighters, lifeboats and a helicopter were part of a major rescue operation that turned out to be a suitcase containing a towel and toothbrush.

The operation was launched yesterday at about 6.45pm following reports that a baby's car seat, which appeared to have something on it, was floating in the river by Ipswich's Waterfront.

A Sea King search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham, police officers, firefighters, two lifeboats from Harwich and the Holbrook coast guard team were involved in the search, which involved scouring the River Orwell, near to Stoke Bridge.

Sergeant Ali Livingstone said: “We received reports of a possible sighting of a car seat in the river.

“We didn't know if anyone was in it. The location makes it quite difficult, the fire service has got their specialist teams and the RNLI and coast guard have sent vessels to other parts of the river.”

Two fire water rescue units were on hand at the scene to provide expert assistance if required.

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Following a dramatic search, with the helicopter hovering above Stoke Bridge as it scoured the area, a small suitcase was found in the water.

It was recovered from the river by about 8pm by the lifeboat team and all the agencies were stood down.

It was later discovered to contain a towel and a toothbrush.

Police said there will be no further investigation into the matter.