Underwater rescue team warns of dangers as the search continues for missing St Neots grandfather who fell in River Thames

Gary was last seen on Saturday.

Gary was last seen on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

The family of a man from St Neots who has been missing since Saturday after he went into the River Thames have issued a statement.

Emergency services have been searching for Gary Peter Sturgess, aged 60, from St Neots since Saturday at 10.42pm. He has not yet been found.

Officers were called to the Dockett Eddy Lane area of Shepperton follow a report that he'd gone into the water from a moored boat.

His family said: "Gary was a conscientious and magnanimous man who people couldn't help but feel inspired by.

"He was an avid animal lover who would continue to fight for animal rights as well as being a dedicated vegan.

"Gary was living his dream, being on the river being close to nature and everything that he loved. He was on his journey from Surrey to get his beloved boat back to St Neots on Saturday.

"Gary was a father to four children and two grandchildren who will miss him deeply."

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His daughter said: "Our dad, a granddad, a person's forever partner, a beloved was a wacky wild kind hearted member of our family."

The family have also thanked the members of Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Surrey Search and Rescue and Surrey Police for their efforts so far.

Also the staff at the Thames Court Pub for their help during this time helping supply the search time with needed food and drink.

A spokesman for the Specialist Group International team said: "This morning at 0900 (21/01/20), Specialist Group International's (SGI) Underwater Search Team were deployed to assist in the search for Mr Gary Peter Sturgess, who fell from a boat into the River Thames late Saturday night. An intense multi-agency search operation has been underway since Saturday, unfortunately Mr Sturgess has still not being found.

"Our River's are in a flooded state with fast flow and heavy currents and are extremely dangerous, please advise loved ones to stay away from the water.

"Peter Faulding, CEO will lead his team using high-frequency side scan sonar as well as divers to do their utmost to bring closure to this tragic accident. Our thoughts go out to Mr Sturgess's family at this extremely difficult time."