Search for missing fisherman is scaled down overnight

Robert Heaton
41 year old Robert Heaton has been missing since Thursday after going on a fishing trip Photo: Cumbria Police/Family picture

Rescue teams have scaled down their search for a fisherman who's believed to have fallen into Carlisle's River Eden. The operation will resume at first light. 41 year old Robert Heaton was last seen leaving his home in Carlisle on Thursday to go on a fishing trip. He hasn't been seen since. A member of the public found fishing equipment near the river yesterday and raised the alarm. A major search was launched this morning which is ongoing. It includes a Sea King helicopter, the RNLI, the coastguard and the police who are using sniffer dogs along the riverbank. No trace has been found and the search has now been scaled back overnight

Police are urging anyone who may have seen Mr Heaton in the area to contact them. Mr Heaton is described as:

  • White
  • Stocky build
  • 5 foot 9 inches tall
  • Dark Brown hair
  • Tattoos on inside of both arms
  • Wearing grey hoodie-style top and dark tracksuit bottoms

An RNLI lifeboat from Silloth is working with Coastguard teams from Annan, Maryport and Brough by Sands to search the waterway and riverbank. A Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer is searching from the skies above the Eden using thermal imaging equipment.

A control centre for the operation has been set up at Carlisle's Sheepmount stadium.

RNLI search team
RNLI teams search for missing fisherman, Robert Heaton Credit: ITV