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Police and search and rescue helicopter in search for missing Ben Savage

Police and the search and rescue helicopter have been scouring an area of Medway as the search is renewed for a teenager who went missing after a night out.

The helicopter was hovering over the Acorn Shipyard in Rochester this morning, with specialist police also called in to help with the hunt for teenager Ben Savage.

Concerns are growing for the 18-year-old, who has not been seen since leaving the Tap N Tin in Railway Street, Chatham in the early hours of Tuesday.

VIDEO: A helicopter is out as part of the search

The last CCTV sighting of him is in the Sun Pier area of Chatham at 3.16am on Tuesday, where teams were searching yesterday.

A police spokesman today said searches of the pier and surrounding area have been carried out, along with other areas identified during enquiries.

There is a police presence near the Acorn Shipyard. Picture: Peter Fowler
There is a police presence near the Acorn Shipyard. Picture: Peter Fowler

Mr Savage’s family have been regularly updated by police and are being supported by officers.

Police are now carrying out work to identify potential new locations to search, and to retrace Ben's steps leading up to his disappearance.

Missing Ben Savage
Missing Ben Savage

The police spokesman also reminded people of the dangers of carrying out their own searches around the river.

Mr Savage is described as being 5ft 10in, of medium build and with short brown hair.

He is believed to have been wearing a black waist-length jacket with a zip on one arm, a grey T-shirt with a large white number on the front, dark blue skinny jeans and black trainers with white detail.

Witnesses reported seeing police scouring the riverside near the shipyard earlier today.

It comes after worried friends launched a Find Ben Facebook appeal. They mounted a search party, which met outside the Tap at 4.30pm yesterday.

A new search is due to take place at 8pm tonight, starting at Spoon restaurant in High Street, Chatham, which is near to Sun Pier.

Police, the Medway Coastguard team, Sheerness Inshore Lifeboat crew and about 40 Kent Search and Rescue volunteers have been involved in the search - with the fire crew's drone launched yesterday.

Officers were searching near the River Medway. Picture: Peter Fowler
Officers were searching near the River Medway. Picture: Peter Fowler

It was initially thought Ben was seen walking towards Gillingham after leaving the pub, but after his family looked at CCTV, it was confirmed this person was not him.

The police helicopter has been searching the area and officers are reviewing CCTV footage to try to establish where Ben went after leaving the Tap N Tin.

The last known photo of Ben Savage (left) pictured with friends at the Tap N Tin before he disappeared
The last known photo of Ben Savage (left) pictured with friends at the Tap N Tin before he disappeared

His family and friends have been searching the streets, parks and playing fields.

Anyone who may have seen Mr Savage after he left the Tap ‘N’ Tin nightclub in Railway Street, Chatham, at about 2.45am on 6 December is asked to get in touch with police on 101 quoting reference 06-0198.

Timeline of the search (courtesy of Sheerness RNLI)

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ were called out at 1.45am on Wednesday to help a multi agency team in the area of Sun Pier,Chatham.

The team included crews from Kent Police, Medway and Sheppey Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue Volunteers, Kent Fire and Rescue along with the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew searched an area from Chatham docks down to Sun Pier in the River Medway.

The lifeboat crew were stood down at 3.45am and returned to station.

The lifeboat was called again at 12.13pm to continue the search in an area up to Gas House point and also round Hoo Island and the Nore Marshes.

Once again with nothing found the crew returned to station at 2.40 pm.

They were called again at 3.52 pm to continue the search, this time covering a wider area from Chatham docks down to the M2 motorway bridge, with the lifeboat returned to station at 7.50pm.

After a further call from the UK Coastguard at 10am yesterday the inshore lifeboat crew along with the other agency teams continued the search, with the lifeboat crew stood down and returned to station at 4pm.

The Sheerness RNLI lifeboat was asked to launch a fifth time earlier today at 10.15am and to search in the area of Canal Road in Strood along with the UK Coastguard helicopter from Lydd and coastguard teams from Medway and Sheppey plus other agencies. They were stood down at 1.10pm.

Sheerness RNLI lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said: "The last few days have been very challenging for our volunteer lifeboat crew, and indeed for everyone from the various agencies involved with the search.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing teenager."

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