Stretch of river where mum Nicola Bulley disappeared is ‘notoriously d

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A stretch of the River Wyre where Nicola Bulley disappeared is “notoriously dangerous”, a representative of St Michael’s Angling Association has said. The chilling warning comes as police said the missing mum-of-two fell into the river while walking her springer spaniel, Willow.

Ms Bulley went missing last Friday morning after doing the school run in St Michael’s on Wyre in Lancashire.

The officer leading the missing person investigation said Ms Bulley, 45, might have been trying to deal with an “issue” with her dog, causing her to go to the edge of the River Wyre and into the water.

Lancashire Police said today (February 3) their “main working hypothesis” is Ms Bulley had “sadly fallen in the river”.

The representative from St Michael’s Angling Association told the Times: “The combination of the depth and how cold it is at this time of year makes it very dangerous.

“I certainly would not want to fall in there and I’m a very strong swimmer.”

Ms Bulley’s mobile phone along with the lead and harness for her dog were found on a bench close to the River Wyre.

Lancashire Police have said they do not believe any crime has been committed and are treating the incident as a missing person inquiry.

Minutes before she went missing, Ms Bulley dropped off her daughters, aged six and nine, at school. The mortgage adviser, from nearby Inskip, then went for her normal walk along the River Wyre, letting Willow loose.


But in a 10-minute window between her last being seen and from police tracing her mobile phone records, officers believe she may have fallen into the river.

Superintendent Sally Riley said an issue with Willow may have caused her to place her phone on the bench and go to assist her dog.

She added: “I don’t wish to speculate – in that we don’t know – but it is possible the dog was loose and off the lead.

“There may have been an issue with the dog that led her to the water’s edge, she puts her phone down to go and deal with the dog momentarily and Nicola may have fallen in.

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“We assume the dog didn’t get into the river, but we don’t know why Nicola may have if she did.”

She confirmed Ms Bulley could swim and said the dog was dry, which suggests Willow did not enter the water.

Police continue to search the local area with divers scouring the river up to 15km from where Ms Bulley went missing.

The disappearance has sparked huge public interest and desperate pleas for information from the family.

Ms Bulley’s sister, Louise Cunningham, had said, “people don’t just vanish into thin air”. Her tearful father Ernie Bulley said Ms Bulley’s young daughters still believed it is “only a matter of time” before their mum comes home.

Friends of the family said Ms Bulley’s daughters had been asking: “Where’s Mummy? How is Mummy?”

Earlier on Friday, her partner Paul Ansell, 44, said he would “never lose hope” of finding her.

Meanwhile, police have vowed to continue the search for Ms Bulley, to “bring her home”.

They urged the public to look out along the river for the items of clothing that Ms Bulley was last seen wearing, including an ankle-length black quilted gilet jacket, a black Engelbert Strauss waist-length coat, tight-fitting black jeans, long green walking socks, ankle-length green Next wellies, a necklace and a pale blue Fitbit.

Anybody who has seen Ms Bulley, or has information about where she might be, is asked to call 101, quoting log 565 of January 30. For immediate sightings please call 999.

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