Divers find nothing in four-mile river search for Nicola Bulley

Nicola Bulley: Peter Faulding provides update on search

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The specialist team who were called in to aid with the search for missing Nicola Bulley have been unable to find anything on their first day of scouting the river. Peter Faulding, the head of private diving team Specialist Group International, said his team of experts and divers, based in Dorking, Surrey, worked with Lancashire Police and searched “three or four miles” of river until it got dark. “It’s a negative search, no signs of Nicola,” he said. He said his team will look through another stretch of river on Tuesday “towards where Nicola went originally missing”.

Peter Faulding, who said over the weekend that he would be able to search the entire river bed using specialist equipment, said he was not convinced that the missing dog walker had fallen into the river.

He told the Mirror earlier today: “Normally people would scream out and I don’t know if there was other people in the area but you’d scream out, you’d flap around and the dog would normally maybe stay with the owner.

“There’s something, in my opinion, not quite right here.” Mr Faulding said: “If Nicola is here, I’m happy we will find her, if she’s in the river. If we can’t find her in the next three or four days in this river, if she’s not here, then I’m confident that she’s not in this stretch of river. I’d be very confident of that.

“We are going to be working our hardest, we’ll probably be working under darkness tonight for a while and that’s my intention to help the family.” Ms Bulley vanished, apparently without trace, on the morning of 27 January while taking her dog Willow for a morning walk close to the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre.

“The river is quite an unusual one. It’s not a straight river but a very windy one,” he said. “I think that within two to three days we should have all of the river searched. We are trying to help the police as much as we can.

“The police are conducting lots of other inquiries apart from the search focused on the river. But if Nicola did not come to be in the river we should be able to rule that out in the next few days.”

He added: “I think we probably have the best and highest frequency kit available to do this work. It’s very easy to be an armchair detective in cases like this. I’ve had all sorts of people like psychics contact me about it. I’m going in with an open mind. What we need to do is get on with the job.”

He added that he had spoken to Paul Ansell, the heartbroken partner of Nicola, 45, who went missing 10 days ago in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancs.

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