A body has been found in the search for missing schoolboy Lucas Dobson, who was swept away in the River Stour at the weekend.
Hundreds of volunteers joined rescue workers after the six-year-old vanished at 1.20pm on Saturday.
This morning Kent Police confirmed the tragic find, and said Lucas' family are devastated.
The schoolboy was attempting to climb onto a boat while on a fishing trip when he fell in the water.
His dad Nathan and two other men jumped in, but the current was too strong.
Police have yet to confirm whether the body found is Lucas, but the family has been informed.
Chief Inspector Mark Weller of Kent Police said: "This is a deeply tragic and upsetting incident for all concerned, and Lucas’ family are understandably devastated.
"We were inundated with offers of assistance from members of the public, who turned out in large numbers to help search for Lucas. I know his family are very grateful and touched by the support provided, and I too would like to offer my own personal thanks.
"I would also like to recognise the efforts of our partners from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and others who assisted in the search for Lucas."
In a statement Kent Police said: "The body has not yet been formally identified but the family of six-year-old Lucas Dobson, who fell into the water near Richborough Road at about 1.20pm on Saturday 17 August 2019, have been informed and are being supported by Kent Police officers."
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
Before the tragic discovery, Lucas’ aunt Maciee Stanford, 18, said: “He was with his dad and his dad’s friends along with other children.
“The incident happened because our Lucas was on the jetty and tried to step from there onto the boat but he fell in between the jetty and the boat (small gap).
“As soon as he fell the three adults jumped in after but the current was too strong he had already gone in the short amount of time he could not be found.
"The current was so strong the three men could barely swim in it.
“They fish and do this regularly as it is behind one of the men’s house all the children play together here.”
Hundreds of people joined efforts to find Lucas, but were yesterday asked to stay away as the operation focused on the river.
Kent's Search and Rescue service posted on Facebook: "Our thoughts are with Lucas’s family, friends and the whole community of Sandwich and Deal.
"We continue to be extremely thankful for all the support we have received during this difficult search."
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