The search for missing mother-of-two Nicola Bulley has been moved to the coastline nearly two weeks after her disappearance.
Two boats with specialist police teams have been searching in the sea at Morecambe Bay, before heading upstream on either side of the River Wyre.
The 45-year-old went missing while walking her dog in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on Friday 27 January.
Officers have confirmed they are focusing on the mouth of the river, with Lancashire Police suggesting finding Ms Bulley “in the open sea becomes more of a possibility”.
Ngnews247 understands specialist diving units have also been deployed to search parts of the 15km stretch of river from the bench where her phone and dog were found to the bay.
In some parts, the river is tidal and fast-flowing.
Lancashire Police said in a statement: “People may have seen less police activity today than previously in the area of the river above the weir but that is not because we have stepped down our searches, it is because the focus of the search has moved further downstream into the area of the river which becomes tidal and then out towards the sea.”
Police had been working on the theory that she fell into the River Wyre, but her family and friends claimed there was “no evidence whatsoever” of this.
A specialist search team pulled out of the operation after saying she was “categorically not” in the area of river where she was thought to have entered the water.
Peter Faulding, a specialist called in by the family who has been assisting police with the search – and whose team were equipped with a £55,000 side-scan sonar able to pick up objects underwater – has not been able to find any trace of Ms Bulley.
On Wednesday, he told reporters that he believes it is “unlikely” that she has been swept out to sea, adding: “My personal view is that I think it is a long way to go in a tidal river.”
11 facts you may not know’ about disappearance:
1. Paul Ansell and Nicola Bulley mostly work from home, which is why he was there that day
2. They both do this walk regularly, and Paul is very well-known in the community and very well recognised
3. The dog never has her harness on for a chunk of the walk. Mr Ansell and Ms Bulley remove it at the gate of the top field and then put it back on again when they leave
4. Mr Ansell and Ms Bulley rarely take the ball out for walks with Willow now as she is very protective over it, and it hasn’t made an appearance on walks in a while
5. Ms Bulley would often put her phone on loudspeaker whilst talking
6. Willow, the dog, was found very close to the bench and the harness. The harness was found on the floor, not on the bench
7. Ms Bulley is an incredibly strong swimmer
8. Ms Bulley drove to the school to drop her two daughters off, left her car there and walked to the river
9. The dog was dry when found by a member of the public
10. The dog has since returned
11. There is CCTV at the back of the caravan park. However, the only camera that isn’t working is the one that would have seen everything.