DYFED-POWYS Police and its partner agencies who have been searching for Mr Darren Rees have concluded their search on the Loughor Estuary.
Chief Inspector Chris Neve said:
“At 2pm today a specialist Police Search Advisor met with HM Coastguard, the South Wales Police Underwater Search Unit and a representative from the local cockling community at the Loughor Estuary where Mr Darren Rees was last seen on Tuesday, 3rd November. After careful consideration of all the information and expert advice that has been made available to us, a joint decision has been made by all agencies involved that the search for Mr Rees will now conclude and will consist of periodic patrols of the estuary by HM Coastguard moving forward. We will also continue with other intelligence led enquiries in the coming days.
“Whilst this is an extremely difficult decision to make, we are satisfied that we have done absolutely everything we possibly can to try and locate Mr Rees and his family have been informed of this decision. I would also like to reassure the public that in addition to the searches that have taken place at the estuary, a team of police officers have been conducting extensive enquiries in Llanelli since Mr Rees was reported missing.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Llanelli community and in particular those from the Morfa area, as well as the local cockling community, who during the week have shown significant strength and determination from the outset in supporting all agencies involved in this enquiry. Those communities should be very proud of the community spirit they have displayed during this difficult time.”
Statement from HM Coastguard:
“HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search for a man who had failed to return to his vehicle after a day’s cockling on the Loughor Estuary. It was reported just before 6.30pm on 3 November.
“An extensive, large scale multi-agency search has been taking place since the report involving the search and rescue helicopter from St Athan, Coastguard Rescue Teams from Burry Port, Llansteffan and Mumbles and also the inshore lifeboats from Burry Port and Loughor.
“Search efforts continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning, resumed again at first light and continued throughout the day. Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid & West Wales Fire service and NPAS have also been involved. Volunteers from the local community have also been involved in the search under the co-ordination of Dyfed-Powys Police.
“HM Coastguard’s search was suspended on Wednesday (4 November) evening. However, HM Coastguard has continued to offer assistance to other emergency services teams including the Police and the Fire Service USAR, with senior coastal operations officers and coastguard rescue teams in attendance.
“Unfortunately, the man has not yet been located and the decision has been made to scale the search effort down pending further information.”