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Search dogs are drafted in to seek flood victims

TWO SEARCH dogs were drafted in from South Yorkshire last week to help police search for the remaining people still not accounted for in Boscastle after the floods that devastated the Cornish town.

The dogs were called in to aid police officers bearing metal detectors, who were planning to search the silt in the town’s inner harbour using the detectors for any cars washed out in Monday's deluge which might still be buried there.

But a spokesman for Operation Gold, the disaster operation being co-ordinated from Devon and Cornwall Police's headquarters at Middlemoor in Exeter, emphasised they were not expecting to find human bodies in the mud and debris, despite some people being unaccounted for.

"The number of people unaccounted for will continue to vary, but police want to emphasise that these people are not presumed dead," he said.

"They are names that have come in to the casualty bureau since we published a national number. The number of people reported as missing is not clear, as in many cases more than one person has reported the same person missing. The background work should give us a more accurate picture of the numbers involved in due course."

Meanwhile structural engineers were on hand to assess whether the homes around the harbour are structurally safe for their owners to return.