Yachting Boating World: The 29-year-old went missing while on a night out, and his family want to mount their own search.
November 25, 2015: The family of Skipton man Rory Johnson-Hatfield has asked the public for help after Yorkshire police called off their search for the missing 29-year-old.
Rory went missing in the early morning hours of Friday, November 20. His father Doug Hatfield spoke out on the public facebook group ‘Rory Johnson is Missing!’ in an appeal for help in continuing the search of York’s River Ouse, where Rory may have fallen in.
Hatfield wrote: “”The river search for Rory by the police has now ended and we have not yet been informed as to when or if it will be resumed.
“I would like to make an appeal to anybody that has a boat on the river Ouse in York that the family could use in order to resume this part of the search. Thank you in advance.”
Charity organisation York Rescue Boat, which assisted in the police search, has strongly advised against the public making unassisted searches due to high water levels on the River Ouse.
Hatfield’s appeal has met with offers of help, in spite of the warnings, however many posters have expressed concern over the potential dangers of venturing onto the river while it is in flood.
Dave Benson, chairman and director of operations for York Rescue Boat, posted: “While this is an extremely difficult time, I would strongly advise people not to make unassisted searches of the river. Currently the river is at flood levels and even when the river goes down it will still pose many dangers for sometime after.”
He asked for Rory’s family to contact him directly so he could advise how the organisation could offer its assistance and guidance.
He said that the rescue boat, with its trained personnel, would not be deployed for a search during current conditions but would work with the family to carry out surface searches when the floodwaters have receded.
Police released more CCTV images of Johnson-Hatfield this week which show him in Tower Street in York at 00:39 GMT and in the City Mills area at 00:47.
Yachting & Boating World: The 74-year-old went missing earlier this month after his yacht was found drifting off Brighton. Police dive teams have begun carrying out underwater searches in Brighton Marina in a bid to find missing yachtsman Len King.
Sussex Police began their operations on Monday and are expected to finish on Wednesday. The 74-year-old from East Sussex went missing on 9 November after his 70ft Sunseeker Stefefree was found unmanned, banging into the marina wall.
Sussex Police said in a statement: “Divers from Sussex Police’s Specialist Search Unit have been undertaking a search at Brighton Marina in connection with the disappearance of yachtsman Len King on November 9.
“The search is a part of enquiries ongoing into his disappearance. The search on Wednesday started again at 10am inside the marina arm.”
Mr King’s wife raised concerns for his safety late on the Sunday after he failed to return home from a solo sailing trip.
A major search operation was launched immediately after, involving several RNLI lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter, but was sadly unable to find any trace of the missing yachtsman and was later suspended on 10 November.
Speaking of his disappearance, Mr King’s wife Stephanie has previously said: “Len is an experienced yachtsman and has been sailing since he was at least 20. Normally we go together but during the week if its calm weather he may go off by himself.
“He went off just before lunch. I was expecting him home for dinner time. I phoned him several times but his phone was unable to connect so I thought he was on his way back. I called the person who has a boat next to us and he thought we were away.
“I can’t understand what has happened. He is a very experienced yachtsman. He has all his equipment doubled up and is always careful. That is the way he runs things.”
Officers are liaising with Mr King’s family as they continue enquiries surrounding his disappearance.
Pratical Boat Owner: Enquiries continue into the disappearance of yachtsman Leonard King on Sunday. Police making enquiries into a yachtsman’s disappearance off Brighton have released a photograph of the missing sailor.
Leonard King, aged 74, of Alfriston, East Sussex hasn’t been seen since Sunday lunchtime after setting in his 70ft Sunseeker boat. An extensive search got underway on Sunday evening when Mr King did not return home as expected and his luxury motor cruiser was found drifting at Brighton marina.
The search, which has now been suspended pending new information, involved the Shoreham and Newhaven Coastguard Rescue teams, Shoreham, Newhaven and Brighton lifeboats.
Conditions were so challenging that the RAF helicopter Rescue 125 had to be stood down due to an active lightning storm in the area. After searching throughout the night, Brighton, Shoreham and Newhaven lifeboat crews were stood down at around 5.30am on Monday, but launched again at 7am at first light.
The Coastguard rescue helicopter 104 from Lee-on Solent also participated in Monday morning’s search. Mr King’s wife Stephanie said it was very unusual for her husband to go missing. She said: ‘I can’t understand what has happened. He is a very experienced yachtsman. He has all his equipment doubled up and is always careful. That is the way he runs things.’
A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘Enquiries continue into the disappearance of yachtsman Leonard King on Sunday, November 9. “Detectives are investigating the circumstances leading up to his boat being found drifting at Brighton marina as part of this missing person enquiry. Officers are working with other agencies such as the coastguard and the RNLI and Mr King’s family is being supported.”