A body has been found by emergency services searching for a missing six-year-old boy.

Lucas Dobson slipped into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, at about 13:30 BST on Saturday while out fishing with his family.

Kent Police said the body had not been formally identified but Lucas' family have been informed.

Hundreds of volunteers joined emergency crews in the search for Lucas over the past five days.

Ch Insp Mark Weller said it was "deeply tragic and upsetting" and Lucas' family were "understandably devastated".

He added: "We were inundated with offers of assistance from members of the public, who turned out in large numbers to help search for Lucas.

"I know his family are very grateful and touched by the support provided, and I too would like to offer my own personal thanks."

Lucas slipped into the river between a boat and jetty on Saturday. His father and two adults jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue him but he was swept away by a strong current.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the RNLI, Kent Search and Rescue and the Specialist Group International dive team joined the search for him.

Vigils were held on Monday evening across Kent, with people lighting candles in an attempt to "light up the coast for Lucas".

Peter Faulding, of the Specialist Group International, said search teams had been "working incredibly hard" to find Lucas and it had been a "real community effort".

Each day, hundreds of people gathered outside Sandwich Fire Station to be briefed on the search effort, and what they could do to help.

More than 200 volunteers helped in the hunt, with some coming from outside the county to take part in the rescue.

But on Tuesday they were urged to "stay away" by police as the river had become the "sole focus" in the search.

BBC NEWS

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