Search for body after bridge plunge

COASTGUARDS and police were today searching the River Orwell after reports a man had plunged from a bridge.Police received a call from a motorist travelling over the Orwell Bridge at around 1.

COASTGUARDS and police were today searching the River Orwell after reports a man had plunged from a bridge.

Police received a call from a motorist travelling over the Orwell Bridge at around 1.25am today to say they had seen a man throw himself over the side.

Coastguards and the police helicopter with an infra-red camera launched an immediate search of the area, but no body was found so the operation was suspended until 7.30am when conditions were easier.

Two coastguard teams from Felixstowe and Holbrook scoured the banks of the river on foot, while the Harwich Inshore lifeboat trawled the waters.

The search was later widened down as far as Pin Mill.

The coastguard team from Holbrook, made up largely of students from the Royal Hospital School, carried out detailed checks of the pontoons and mooring along the banks.

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Phil London, acting wash manager for Thames coastguard, which is co-ordinating the search, said: "We are currently carrying out a low water search for a person.

"We have got to search around the river with a life boat and the search teams are going along the shore down river because the tide has been going out since the incident happened."

Peter Creasey, stationery officer of the Holbrook coastguard, today said at the scene: "We have started searching the most obvious place and then we will widen the search."

The 160ft bridge was the scene of the notorious suicide jump of Ipswich doctor Jayaprakesh Chiti, who leapt to his death clutching his two-year-old son after stabbing dead his wife in February last year.

Death toll from bridge

n A total of 25 people died when they

plunged from the bridge.

n The first death at the spot took place in 1983.

n A peak of seven in a period of twelvemonths were recorded

in 1996.

n Dr Jayaprakash Chitiand his son,

Pranau, were the latest to have lost their lives in this way.

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