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Inquest opening after 6-year-old Lucas Dobson fell into the River Stour in Sandwich

Tragic Lucas Dobson died from immersion an inquest heard.

A post mortem examination confirmed the exact cause of death of the six-year-old after he fell into a river in Sandwich.

Coroner's officer Denis Fogel said at the inquest, which opened today at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone, that the body of the six-year old was found on Wednesday, August 21 after an extensive search and rescue operation involving the emergency services and hundreds of volunteers.

Lucas Dobson: fell into the River Stour
Lucas Dobson: fell into the River Stour

Assistant coroner for mid Kent and Medway Eileen Sproson was told that Lucas' body was identified by his father Nathan Dobson.

Lucas, of Deal, had accidentally fallen into the River Stour on Saturday, August 17, after going on a trip with family and friends.

He was trying to step from a jetty to a boat and landed in the water.

Three men, including his father Nathan Dobson, dived in to rescue him but the strong current pulled the boy out of reach.

Police and volunteers trying to find Lucas on August 18. Picture: Chris Davey.
Police and volunteers trying to find Lucas on August 18. Picture: Chris Davey.

After Lucas was reported missing at 1.20pm, hundreds of local people joined emergency services in a five-day search.

Helicopters, drones, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, an underwater rescue unit, and a search dog were all part of the effort to find Lucas.

Candlelit vigils were held in several coastal and inland towns and villages on Monday evening as efforts to find him continued.

Kent police described the discovery of Lucas' body as deeply tragic

On Wednesday, August 21, a body was found close to where Lucas fell and the body was formally identified by his father.

More vigils were held in his memory, in Deal and Margate, on the evening of Friday, August 23.

Tributes such as bouquets and cards were also left at the gates of his school, Warden House Primary in Deal.

Both Deal and Sandwich town councils flew their flags half mast and a book of condolence was opened in St Peter's Church, Sandwich.

Last Monday Lucas' mother, Kirsty Furze, put out a Facebook post thanking the public for all their support.

She wrote: "I cannot believe how much my baby has touched all your hearts."

By last Tuesday almost £6,000 had been raised to for his funeral. Funds ring-fenced for a memorial bench reached £1,400 by then.

The inquest, at Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone, was adjourned until November 12.

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