- Frederick Lawson is thought to have slipped into the flood-swollen River Thames
- He’s believed to have been checking his boat in his flooded garden in Shiplake
- Mr Lawson lived with his wife Beryl at the £1m Oxfordshire riverside home
- A major hunt is underway for the pensioner last seen on Wednesday morning
A major hunt is underway for an 82-year-old pensioner who is believed to have slipped into the flood-swollen River Thames near his £1m property.
Frederick Lawson was thought to have been checking his boat in his flooded garden on Wednesday morning when he slipped and plunged into the fast-flowing river.
Mr Lawson lived with his wife Beryl at the riverside home in Shiplake, in Oxfordshire.
Frederick Lawson vanished at about 10am on Wednesday from the riverside home in Shiplake, Berkshire, that he shares with his wife, Beryl
Neighbours said the pensioner had been concerned about the height of the flood-swollen river and ventured out to check his boat wasn’t in danger of being carried away.
It was initially thought he had gone into the garden in his brown slippers but police today said the footwear had been located in the house.
It’s now believed he was wearing a pair of blue Wellington boots.
Neighbour, veteran singer Vince Hill, said: ‘I understand that he was checking his boat when he disappeared. The river is very high because of all the rain and is running very fast.’
No sign has been found of Mr Lawson and police, fire crews and specialist divers were all called to the scene again today to resume the search.
It’s understood the water was running too fast for divers to enter it and instead they were using sonar devices to try and locate Mr Lawson.
Police said that the river was being searched because there were fears the pensioner might have slipped on the flooded garden of his home and plunged into the fast-flowing river
Frogmen from the specialist dive team, hired in by the police, could be seen aboard rigid inflatable boats on the river as the hunt continued
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said people living along the Thames between Hurley and Shiplake had been asked to check the river banks near their properties due to recent heavy rain.
‘Mr Lawson has never gone missing before and we are very concerned about his disappearance which was reported by his partner,’ he said.
The pensioner is described as slim, 5ft 10ins, with blue eyes and grey hair.
Firefighters from Reading, using their specialist fire river boat, helped in the search and a police helicopter crew searched long stretches of the river downstream from Mr Lawson’s riverside home