Ben Clarkson search: New sightings reported: Divers to return to Foss

River rescue unit to search for missing York man

11.45am UPDATE: Ben Clarkson search - Divers scour Foss - Police issue fresh appeal

11.45am UPDATE: Ben Clarkson search - Divers scour Foss - Police issue fresh appeal

11.45am UPDATE: Ben Clarkson search - Divers scour Foss - Police issue fresh appeal

11.45am UPDATE: Ben Clarkson search - Divers scour Foss - Police issue fresh appeal

11.45am UPDATE: Ben Clarkson search - Divers scour Foss - Police issue fresh appeal

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by

NEW sightings have emerged of missing York man Ben Clarkson as police continue their search for the music shop worker.

Ben, 22, was spotted at 3.40am on Sunday in Layerthorpe, close to the junction of James Street.

At the time he was wearing dark skinny jeans, a grey t-shirt with an Eiffel Tower logo on the front and dark pumps with white trim and white toe caps.

Police officers and PCSOs are searching of Ben’s route home from Stonebow to Heworth Green, the regional underwater search team and a specially trained scent dog have been brought in to assist the investigation.

Further searches of the Heworth Green area and the River Foss will continue throughout the day. Divers resumed their searches of the River Foss around Heworth Green.

Inspector Richard Abbott, who is coordinating the search for Ben, said: “I would like to thank the members of the public who have already helped in the search for Ben and ask people to remain vigilant and report any possible sightings.

“I am also appealing directly to Ben. Please contact us straight away to confirm that you are safe and well. Your family and friends are extremely concerned about you and are desperate to know that you have not come to harm.”

Police also said a number of reported sightings of Ben in the city since he was reported missing have not been confirmed.

Ben, 22, was seen outside Fibbers nightclub in Stonebow at about 3.30am on Sunday, and police said it was unusual that he would be out of contact with his friends and family for so long.

Yesterday the underwater search team searched the Foss between Huntington Road and Heworth Green, near their junction with Monkgate and Foss Islands Road, and also further down the river towards the Foss Basin.

Ben, a former York St John University student, who now works at Music Room in Lendal, was wearing dark skinny jeans, a grey T-shirt with an Eiffel Tower logo on the front and dark pumps with white trim and white toe caps, when he was last seen.

Police have carried out a number of inquiries including searches of Ben’s route home and examining CCTV footage.

The search for Ben follows the discovery in the River Ouse on Sunday of the body of Megan Roberts, the 20-year-old student who had gone missing after a night out in the city centre six weeks ago.

Yesterday the River Ouse Safety Group urged people out in town at night to stick together when walking home, to prevent avoidable tragedies.

The group said: “We are determined to work with colleagues across the city to prevent river-related incidents where we can.

“We urge everyone who is out and about in the city centre to watch out for each other and stay together when heading home so that should an accident occur, there is someone to raise the alarm.”

Yesterday’s searches in the Foss were overseen by Sergeant Steve Birss of the marine unit.

He said two officers in a boat used scanning equipment up and down the river, while three more entered the Foss to search by hand. He said divers would not be used unless further scans deemed them necessary.

York Press:

He said the Foss flowed more slowly than the Ouse and was a lot shallower, and was relatively free of debris.

He said: “Most of it seems to be reasonably well covered from a safety point of view, with railings and life rings. The Ouse was six or seven metres deep and this at its deepest is about 1.5 metres. If we’re going to dive, that’s in our favour but it makes scanning just that little bit harder.”

Inspector Jo Brooksbank said: “Ben, if you are safe and well, I urge you to contact the police immediately. Your family and friends are very worried about your welfare and are desperate to know that you are safe and well.”

A spokeswoman for York St John University said Ben had been a student there between September 2010 and March 2011.

She said: “Our thoughts are with Ben’s family and friends at this distressing time.”

Insp Brooksbank said: “In the meantime, I ask anyone who saw Ben after the time he was last seen or has any information about his current whereabouts, to contact the police as a matter of urgency.”

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