As reported earlier today, the Isle of Wight Coastguard team and Wight Search and Rescue (SAR) will be, over the next three days, assisting police and search dogs from Thames Valley Police during a search operation for missing Londoner, Robert (Robbie) Gibson.
The search commenced this morning (Monday), in wet and drizzly conditions, along the coastal path in Luccombe, South Wight.
Previous searches hampered by undergrowth
Although Robbie went missing in June last year, a search of this kind was not realistic during the summer months, because of the extent of the undergrowth.
However, helicopter searches, using thermal imaging did take place during the summer, but anyone who has walked through landslip will know how overgrown it can become during that time of the year.
‘Most likely’ area
This area being searched is one of the “most likely” that Robbie would have walked along, as it was a regular walking route when he visited the Island in previous years.
The last sighting of Robbie was on 13th June 2016 at the Co-operative supermarket in Shanklin.
Thames Valley police dogs
The coastal area being searched was prepped on Sunday by Wight SAR, ready for the police dogs, Poppy and Rocky, to work through from today.
The coastal path will remain open to the public, but you are asked to keep your dogs on leads and remain on the path if you do use that route.
Blue police tape tied to trees is intended to indicate marked-out sections for the police dogs to search. It is not an indication of anything found.
Coastguard assist in search
The Isle of Wight Coastguard will also be searching Luccombe Chine over the next three days, as they are highly experienced and qualified to search cliff faces.
Our sincerest thoughts are with Robbie’s family and friends at this very difficult time. He has been missing for more than six months and we’re sure it has been an agonising time for them all.