Essex Police were called out on Friday night at 8pm after reports that a teenager had gone missing at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock. Superintendent Craig Saunders said: “Our investigation has identified that he was last seen at around 8.50pm on the lake.
“We will be working with specialist search teams to carry out an extensive search of the lake and surrounding area today.”
Fire, specialist diving crews and ambulances also attended the scene.
An Eyewitness told EssexLive: “I drove down after my wife saw loads of emergency services down here.
“There’s a load of incident response teams here – loads of ambulances and fire trucks and specialist diving crews searching the river, which is just at the back of the Travelodge at Lakeside.
“I overheard a conversation which appears to be a mother of somebody who was in the river.
“There’s a sombre mood here.
Everyone’s got a job to do and they’re doing it well emergency services-wise. It’s quite eerie watching the boats go over the river carefully as they search.
“There was a helicopter over and they appear to still be searching. Officers are using torches.”
Another Eyewitness added: “There was dozens of emergency vehicles, boats in the lakes and about 50 emergency officers on the decking to the lake.
“It was a really awful sight.”
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