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Environment Agency high-tech underwater drone used in search for vehicle that entered River Trent at Hoveringham with two people reportedly inside




A high-tech underwater drone has been used by police dive teams as they continue their search for a car, reportedly with two occupants inside, which entered the River Trent at Hoveringham.

The remote-operated drone, provided by the Environment Agency, is equipped with a camera, spotlights and a hydraulic arm that can be used to move underwater debris such as tree branches.

It has been put to use today as the specialist Nottinghamshire Police Dive Team, supported by Environment Agency colleagues, continued efforts to identify and recover an object located in the water, believed to be a vehicle.

THE specialist underwater search operation taking place at Bleasby to recover missing vehicle in River Trent. Pictures by James Turner (44227292)
THE specialist underwater search operation taking place at Bleasby to recover missing vehicle in River Trent. Pictures by James Turner (44227292)

The search and recovery effort is ongoing despite the fast flowing river and treacherous conditions. At this time police are unable to confirm if the object located is the vehicle involved in the incident.

It comes after a large multi-agency search and rescue operation was launched following reports at 4.13pm on Monday (February 1, 2021) a car had left Hoveringham Road and gone into the river.

THE specialist underwater search operation taking place at Bleasby to recover missing vehicle in River Trent. Pictures by James Turner (44227288)
THE specialist underwater search operation taking place at Bleasby to recover missing vehicle in River Trent. Pictures by James Turner (44227288)

Witnesses reported seeing two occupants inside. While no formal identification has taken place, police believe they know who they are and their relatives are being supported by trained officers while enquiries continue to understand the full circumstances of the incident.

Louise Cresswell, East Midlands area director for the Environment Agency, said: "The underwater drone is usually used to inspect underwater flood defences and structures, to give information about any repairs needed or any debris that need to be removed. It is also used by fisheries enforcement officers to check underwater for illegal traps and nets.

"The drone can go down to a depth of 100m and the camera provides real-time data to a screen held by the operative on the river bank."

THE specialist underwater search operation taking place at Bleasby to recover missing vehicle in River Trent. Pictures by James Turner (44227278)
THE specialist underwater search operation taking place at Bleasby to recover missing vehicle in River Trent. Pictures by James Turner (44227278)

Inspector Heather Sutton, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "I'd like to thank the Environment Agency who are supporting our search with this specialist underwater camera equipment.

"The river is running very high and fast and visibility is low but we are continuing our efforts to recover the object from the river despite the challenging conditions.

Inspector Heather Sutton.
Inspector Heather Sutton.

"We are keeping an open mind at this stage as we continue to work hard to establish the facts of how this incident happened. Our thoughts remain with the relatives who are being supported and have asked for privacy at this difficult time.

"There are not expected to be any further developments this evening. Once there is an update, we will provide one but until then, I would ask that people do not speculate on what has happened. All updates on this incident will be posted on Nottinghamshire Police’s website.

“If you have any information that could help us understand what has happened, please do not hesitate to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 500 of February 1, 2021."



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