Search widens for missing 79-year-old man

Missing man George Vale. PHOTO: Suffolk Police

Missing man George Vale. PHOTO: Suffolk Police - Credit: Archant

The search for a missing 79-year-old man widened last night as police and coastguards linked up along the coast between Lowestoft and Southwold.

They scoured the beach and coastal area for George Vale, from Hopton, who has been reported missing since around 9am on Friday.

Coastguards from Lowestoft, Gorleston, Aldeburgh and Shingle Street helped to search the area from Ness Point southwards towards the Suffolk seaside town.

A spokeswoman for the coastguards said this morning that they linked up with police officers in their bid to find the missing man and to continue the coastal search of the area.

A Suffolk Fire Service drone was deployed at 7.45pm on Friday and lifeboat crews from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, and Lowestoft also searched the coastline.

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Coastguard crews from Lowestoft and Gorleston also took part in the search, along with a coastguard rescue helicopter.

Speaking on Friday Duty Inspector Gina Hopkinson said: “We actually received the missing persons report this morning about 9.30am, and he’s been missing since 9am.

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“He is elderly which suggests he is potentially vulnerable.”

Coastguard rescue officer David Burwood said: “A major search was conducted along the shore from Benacre Sluice to Gorleston Harbour entrance with all teams conducting thorough searches both along the coast and out to sea.

“Air searches were carried out by the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter and also Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s Drone Team.

“Searches along Lowestoft Harbour to Oulton Broad were also conducted.”

He added: “Nothing was found after many hours of searching and just before midnight the teams were stood down pending further investigation.”

Mr Vale is described as a slim white male, 5ft 8in tall, with brown greying hair which is three to four inches long.

It is unknown what he is wearing.

Anyone with information should call 101 and reference CAD 96.

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