Search For 16 y/o Missing In The Thames Near Oxford

9 May 2016, 15:03 | Updated: 9 May 2016, 18:00

The family and friends of a missing 16-year-old boy are searching the banks of the River Thames near Oxford.

16-year-old Ellis Downes was last seen in the River Thames at Culham near Abingdon on Saturday evening.

Police say he was with friends when it is believed he was pulled under by the current.

His sister, Alex, has appealed for volunteers to go and help them find her little brother - who she just wants home.

Alex's best friend, Shannon Price is there helping with the search.

 Luis Jeffries is Ellis' cousin and is out looking for the 16-year-old.


Thames Valley Police Statement:

 Thames Valley Police is continuing with its search for a missing 16-year-old boy, Ellis Downes from Harwell, Oxfordshire, who was last seen swimming in the River Thames at Culham at 9pm on Saturday (7/5).

Emergency services were called to the scene near The Burycroft off the A415 at 9pm on Saturday to a report that a boy had got into difficulty while swimming and had not been seen since.

Superintendent Rory Freeman, LPA Commander for South and Vale, said: “Our priority is to find Ellis and bring him back to his family.

“The river searches for Ellis have been going on since Saturday involving police officers working with Fire and Rescue Service, Environment Agency and the child’s family and friends.

“Poor visibility in the river has hampered the underwater searches, however the riverside searches are continuing.

“We are seeking support from other forces for a specialist dive team to continue with the search of the river itself.

“Road closures are in place nearby to allow the search to continue and the river is closed to all boat traffic between Abingdon lock and Culham lock.

“Anyone with any concerns or information about this incident is asked to call 101 quoting URN 1620 7/5 or speak to officers at the scene.”