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Air and sea searches fail to locate man who fell from boat

Air and sea searches for a man missing after falling from a boat off the Dorset coast over the bank holiday weekend have been stood down but inquiries continue, police say.

David Haw, 24, from Sussex, went overboard from a rigid inflatable boat in Poole Harbour just before 2am on Monday.

Searches involving the RNLI, HM Coastguard, police, Dorset Search and Rescue and specialist dive teams failed to find him.

Dorset Police said on Wednesday that both its wide and targeted searches have now been completed.

The force said it will continue to search for Mr Haw, and conduct searches in line with any new information it receives.

The missing man is described as white, 5ft 10in, of slim build with mousey brown hair that is short on the back and sides but long on top.

He also has a short beard and bushy eyebrows.

A 19-year-old man arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of manslaughter has now been released under investigation, Dorset Police said.

Superintendent Gemma Morris said: “We have carried out intensive water and land-based searches of the Poole Harbour area over the past two days with air support.

“These searches have been informed by extensive technical modelling and expert input and we have used significant resources with support from our partner agencies to thoroughly search all the areas identified, but very sadly we have so far been unable to find David.

“While both the wide and targeted searches are now complete, we will continue in our efforts and inquiries to find David and will respond to any information that becomes available to us.

“We are keeping David’s family fully updated and our thoughts remain with them at this time.

“I would like to thank all those who have been involved in the search operation for their tireless support over recent days.”

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident has been launched by Dorset Police in partnership with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the force said.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Dorset Police online or on 101 quoting incident number 55220068866.

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