Police are still looking for a schoolboy who fell into the Thames at Tower Bridge over a week ago.
The boy, who fell in on the morning of Tuesday April 20, is a Year 8 student at the Ark Globe Academy in Elephant and Castle.
A woman is reported to have heroically jumped in to try to save him from drowning. She was rescued, but the City of London police have yet to find the schoolboy.
A national paper reported witnesses saying that the woman heard screams when he fell from Tower Bridge and despite using a life-float to swim into the Thames, she was only able to recover his school jacket and school bag.
An ‘intensive search’ for the boy involving helicopter and marine searches was launched but he has not yet been found.
In a letter sent to parents the following day the school named the student, breaking the terrible news, and said that he was being treated as a missing person by police. Children in Year 8 are usually aged between twelve or thirteen. The News has withheld the boy’s name until we have more information from police.
In the letter the school’s principal Matt Jones said that the boy “did not make his way into school despite travelling on a bus with a friend in full school uniform. He got off the bus near Tower Bridge before his usual bus stop nearest to Ark Globe Academy and fell into the River Thames.”
The letter continued: “This is obviously distressing news for [the] family, friends and the wider Ark Globe Community. Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”
Jones urged parents to contact the school if they think their child needs help, or the NSPCC, the UK’s top children’s charity, if it is outside school hours.
He also told parents that school staff “know the important role they play in keeping children safe” and reminded them of Ark’s safeguarding procedures. He added that the last year has been “a very difficult time” for many students and their families.
Jones told the News: “We can confirm that a student at Ark Globe Academy did not arrive to school on the morning Tuesday 20 April as expected. At this moment in time, there is a live police investigation in relation to the young person’s disappearance. The police are treating this case as a ‘missing persons’ incident.
“This is obviously distressing news for the young person’s family, friends, and the wider Ark Globe Community. As a school community, we are dealing with this sensitively so as not to compromise the integrity of the police investigation and we wish to respect the privacy of the family while the investigation is on-going. Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”
A City of London spokesperson said:
“We ask anyone who witnessed anything on Tuesday 20 April at 8.09am, to call us on 020 7601 2999, quoting reference 21000215310.”
Asked for an update this week, a spokesperson for the City of London police said
that “searches continue but we have no update at this time.”
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