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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kelly-Ann Mills

Video 'proof' that missing Nicola Bulley is not in river revealed by diving expert

Missing mum Nicola Bulley is not in the river where she was last seen, according to a diving expert who has shared what he calls video proof from the water's edge.

Peter Faulding says the clip of the River Wyre shows it to be slow-moving, meaning her body would have sunk “very quickly” and remained nearby if she had gone in.

The 60-year-old, who has worked on hundreds of similar cases, also said the rocks by the bank, which would have been under just 2ft of water when she went missing, mean she could have simply “stood up” if she’d fallen down.

He said the clip makes him believe Nicola didn't fall into the river, in St Michael's in Wyre, Lancashire when she vanished on Friday, January 27 while walking her dog.

He added that he felt a “wider land search” of outbuildings and sheds was now needed after his team’s sonar scans of the river failed to find any proof of her body in the river.

Mr Faulding, drafted in to help Lancashire Police's efforts, called off his search on Wednesday after his team found no trace of her using its advanced sonar equipment.

Police probing her disappearance say they believe she fell in, but Mr Faulding maintains the short clip of a log barely moving on the water blows their theory apart.

Nicola's partner at the river (Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
Nicola went missing on Friday, January 27 (Lancashire Police / SWNS)

He said of the video: “The log stayed at that point for 20 minutes, and it actually spiralled and went up six feet and came back to the same place.

“The river on the day was slightly higher - it was about a foot higher - but I’d be very surprised in my experience [if she was there] as a body usually goes to the bottom very quickly.

“If Nicola slipped down the bank, she would have landed in about 2ft of water but onto rocks, and she could have stood up."

Mr Faulding's team, Specialist Group International, began searching the River Wyre, which flows from the Forest of Bowland to Fleetwood, Lancashire and into the Irish sea, on Monday.

Dive expert Peter Faulding takes Paul Ansell to the river (PA)

He said they had finished their investigation yesterday afternoon after an extensive search of a one-mile stretch of the river, which is 13ft deep close to where Nicola was last seen, showed she was not there.

Mr Faulding said it's his professional opinion that Nicola’s body would have been seen if it had floated any further downstream on the day she disappeared.

The diver yesterday took Nicola’s shattered partner Paul Ansell to the bench where their dog, and her mobile phone, were found on the day she vanished.

Mr Faulding said of his conversation with Paul: “He’s very upset and he was in tears yesterday. He’s very emotional, obviously.

Nicola's partner Paul at the river (@5_News)

“He was shocked at how shallow the rocks were yesterday. He thought it was really deep there. If she had gone in she would have landed on the rocks.

“The family thanked us for being here. They said ‘You’ve given us confidence now’ and his belief is that Nicola has not gone in that river."

"We’ve gone about a mile upstream, which is way up the search area, and ruled there is nothing in that section of the river.

“If you start putting the pieces of the jigsaw together, it’s very strange, and it would need an extremely strong current on the day to take her so quickly over the weir before the police arrived.

Nicola Bulley with her partner Paul Ansell (Facebook)

“And if she was floating, she would have been seen by the public, or landed elsewhere – and there’s just no sign of this poor lady."

He said: “My personal view is probably although the search is done of the river, I feel that a wider area land search needs to be done around the specific area.

“Maybe more talking to the public and looking in sheds and outbuildings and stuff.

“But there’s been people coming up and trying to break into outbuildings looking for Nicola – stay away! It’s causing a lot of problems.

He added: “Nobody knows if Nicola is alive or dead, there’s no confirmation. All we’ve got is a mobile phone and a dog harness.

“We have worked so hard up here, and the family are baffled."

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