Police fear missing sailor is dead

Police searching for a Russian sailor who disappeared in Ipswich on Christmas Eve admit they fear the worst.

IPSWICH: Police searching for a Russian sailor who disappeared in Ipswich on Christmas Eve admit they fear the worst.

A search along the banks of the River Orwell was continuing today as the missing person enquiry gathered pace - but officers believe the 36-year-old may be dead.

Suffolk Police and coastguard teams conducted searches around the area yesterday after it was reported that the sailor, Alexey Dorofeev, had not been seen since December 24. He was last seen on the quayside at about 10pm, having been returned to the area of the ship by a fellow crew member. He had earlier gone ashore with two crew members to socialise.

He disappeared from his British-registered ship, Daniel Kay, which was moored in Ipswich Marina. It is believed the ship had sailed from Spain bringing rock salt for treatment on paths and roads.

However, he was not reported missing until noon on Boxing Day.

Crew members presumed he had gone into Ipswich but the captain raised the alarm when he failed to return after two days.

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Inspector Des Pooley, duty inspector at Ipswich police station, said officers had searched CCTV footage to find the man but admitted they were not optimistic for his safe return.

He added: “We are not expecting good news”.

Coastguard rescue teams from Holbrook and Felixstowe were searching the river and shoreline near the Orwell Bridge yesterday afternoon helped by Harwich RNLI and a police rescue helicopter, but so far have found nothing.

Police are today continuing their enquiries and will extend the search.

A force spokesman confirmed: “We are still conducting a missing person enquiry.”

It is not believed that he has any possessions with him as his mobile phone, laptop and ID/passport were all left in his cabin on the ship. It is unknown if he has any access to money.

The ship's crew have been spoken to via an interpreter, CCTV has been checked and police have also spoken to staff at the Brewery Tap and the Ship Launch Inn where he was known to have visited on Christmas Eve.

He is described as white, medium build and with cropped black hair. He was wearing a dark coloured long sleeved coat and dark coloured blue jeans when he was last seen.

The police helicopter, the Coastguard, Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and police have all conducted searches of the area including the shoreline from the quay to the Orwell Bridge, the quayside and surrounding wasteland. So far all enquiries and searches have not proved to be successful.

Officers are asking him or anyone who has seen him or knows of his whereabouts to contact the duty inspector at Ipswich Police Station on 01473 613500.

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