Police looking for crew who made the vessel
Beds Police are searching for the people who built a homemade canoe which was found capsized and drifting tin the River Ouse on Sunday morning.
With no reported missing persons police are not searching for bodies but would like those responsible to come forward to reclaim their vessel.
Police were contacted at around noon on Sunday, September 19 by a member of the pubic who had seen the homemade canoe upturned in the River Ouse at the Slipe Bridge, near Whitbread Ave, Bedford.
Officers attended the scene and found a large canoe made from a 12 foot ladder, blue piping and tarpaulin capsized on the river. They recovered this together with several cans of larger and five paddles.
Police searched up and down both banks of the river, the fire service deployed their boat and the police helicopter was also used during a search lasting into the afternoon but no bodies were found.
No reports of missing persons on the river were received and the police are not treating this as suspicious. However they would like to trace the people that built and placed this vessel in the river.
Sgt Peter Baron said: "This is a sophisticated homemade vessel but is clearly not suitable for use on the river.
"It would require two or three people to carry it to the water and the number of paddles and amount of beer indicate several people were intending to use it. But it looks like it got away from them and drifted downstream, at some point overturning.
"The discovery of any vessel in this condition on the river provokes an immediate response by ourselves, the fire service and the ambulance service to search for missing people.
"The police and fire service searched the surrounding river for several hours but no bodies were found or missing persons reported. It was a busy day but none of the fishermen or members of the public we spoke to had seen anything.
"Using the river can be extremely dangerous and should only be done with proper boats. It is also essential that anyone boating lets someone know they are out there in case there is a problem. If you lose your vessel telling the Police would prevent the kind of search we had to undertake on Sunday.
"As we have had no report of anyone missing we assume those responsible are safe and well but would like to know for sure. If they could contact us as soon as possible we'd very much like to talk to them. If anyone knows anything about who made this vessel or saw them taking it to the river or on the river please get in touch."
Anyone with information can contact Sgt Peter Baron on 01234 275304.
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Weather for Bedford
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North east