A major search and rescue operation for a missing 69-year-old man and his little dog has been called off amid fears they were swept out to sea.
Gareth Jones and his brown cockapoo were reported missing yesterday with helicopters and lifeboats scouring the coastline of Hove, West Sussex late into the night.
Despite extensive searches, which also involved Sussex Police, HM Coastguard, lifeboat crews and search and rescue volunteers, neither Gareth or his dog have been found.
And police have now called it off as CCTV footage seemed to show them both being swept out to sea.
Gareth Jones, 69, was reported missing yesterday with police, lifeboats and helicopters joining the search in Hove, West Sussex
The 68-year-old had been walking his little cockapoo who is also feared to have been swept out to sea
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “The search for missing Hove man Gareth Jones has been scaled down following an update on the investigation this afternoon (Sunday, January 17).
“Gareth, 69, was reported missing with his brown cockapoo dog on Saturday (January 16) having not been seen since 1pm.
“Officers investigating the matter have viewed CCTV from the area where he was last seen, and believe it shows Gareth and his dog sadly getting swept out to sea.
A major operation was launched last night and scoured the Sussex coastline but failed to spot Mr Jones
Coastgiard and lifeboat crews have been stood down, according to Sussex Police
The crews searched late into last night and then resumed this morning before being called off
“Coastguard and lifeboat crews have now been stood down from the search, but police officers and volunteers are continuing to search the coastline.
“Sussex Police would like to thank all of those involved with the search, including members of partner agencies and the many volunteers who have offered support.”
Witnesses last night reported seeing a massive operation off the Sussex coastline.
A spokesman for Shoreham RNLI added: “Our inshore lifeboat has launched again this morning to continue the search for a man missing off Hove last night.
“Both lifeboats spent several hours searching an extensive area with the coastguard helicopter, Brighton Lifeboat, Shoreham and Newhaven coastguard teams and Sussex Police on Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday.”