Search for missing St Neots grandfather called off by police

The River Thames search for missing father-of-four Gary Sturgess from St Neots has been called off a

The River Thames search for missing father-of-four Gary Sturgess from St Neots has been called off after five days. - Credit: Archant

The search for missing Gary Sturgess has been called off.

The search for a man from St Neots who went missing after he went into the River Thames has been called off.

Emergency services had been searching for Gary Sturgess, aged 60, from St Neots since January 19 at 10.42pm. He has not yet been found.

Teams from , Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Specialist Group International , and Surrey Search and Rescue as well as a police helicopter, have been in the are using sonar equipment and diving crews to carry out an extensive search.

In a post on January 23 police confirmed that the search had been called off on the "Spelthorne Beat" Facebook page.

The post said: "We can confirm that the search for Gary Sturgess in the River Thames has been scaled back following five days of searches involving a number of partner agencies."

Spelthorne Borough Commander Inspector Maxine Cilia said: "Calling off this search has obviously been a difficult decision and one that hasn't been taken lightly, and has been done so after consulting the specialist teams involved.

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"While the search has been scaled back, with all water-based activity ceasing, there will be a number of volunteers from Surrey Search and Rescue walking along the river banks in the coming days.

"Throughout the incident we have been in close contact with the man's family to offer them as much support and information as we possibly could. Our thoughts go out to them at this difficult time."

A statement released by his family on January 21 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."

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

Anyone with any information should contact Surrey Police on 101 (999 in an emergency) and quote the reference number PR/45200007289.