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Search For Missing Canoeist Continues Into Third Day

Published on: 29 Mar, 2016
Updated on: 13 Mar, 2022
Police diver, attached by safety line, surfaces briefly during search of river bed at Millmead

A search diver, attached by safety line, surfaces briefly during search of river bed at Millmead on Tuesday morning (March 29). Photo Lorimer Burn.

The search for a man whose kayak overturned in the River Wey in Guildford on Easter Monday, entered its third day this afternoon (March 30).

It has emerged that the divers conducting the search are part of an underwater search team from Specialist Group International. Although not police divers, they are trained to the same standard.

Natasha Faulding speaking on behalf of the group said: “The team have worked on many high profile missing person cases.

“They are using high-frequency side-scan sonar to image the river bed before deploying the divers.”

The missing kayaker was named yesterday by his family as Guildford resident Grant Broster, aged 56.

His wife, Rachel, said: “Grant was using the family kayak which capsized. He had not seen the flood warnings.

“Our son entered the water to try and help his father but was pulled to safety. Although there have not been any further sightings of Grant, the extensive search continues.

“The family would like to thank all the emergency services and agencies who are involved in the search for Grant, particularly Surrey Police, for their dedicated help.

Rachel added: “We would now ask that our privacy is respected at this difficult time.”

Surrey Police resumed searching the River Wey this morning (March 29).

Police in a dinghy continue theri search.

A dinghy is used to continue the search.

The river continues to be fast-flowing and deeper than usual following the rainfall associated with Storm Katie that passed through over the weekend.

Diving operations underway

Diving operations underway. Photo Lorimer Burn.

Officers were called around 1.10pm on Easter Monday to Millmead by the Guildford Borough Council offices following reports that a man had gone into the water after his kayak capsized near the weir.

Viewe from the footbridge at Millmead as the search continues.

View from the footbridge at Millmead as the search continues.

Searches continue to be carried out, along with colleagues from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and Surrey Search and Rescue. The police helicopter and ambulance crews were also in attendance on Easter Monday.

Sections of the Rver Wey towpath have been cordoned off while the search operation continues

Sections of the River Wey towpath have been cordoned off while the search operation continues. Photo Lorimer Burn.

Members of the public are advised that the Millmead car park will be closed while it is used as a meeting point for emergency services.

Guildford Dragon reader Lorimer Burn, who sent in some of the photos in this article, said on Tuesday (Mar 29): “The operation appears to be simply an underwater search now, one diver at a time. One photo I took shows a surfaced diver who’d been submerged for about 20 minutes, his progress could be followed by a trail of occasional bubbles.

“The water is flowing very fast and visibility underwater must be negligible.”

Police vehicles and a dinghy in Millmead car park.

Police vehicles and a dinghy in Millmead car park.

The public is being urged not to go into the water if they do see the kayaker in the water, but to call 999 straightaway.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference P16069050.

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