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Anthony Knott: Search for missing firefighter continues

Anthony Knott

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Family handout

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Anthony Knott was due home in the early hours of 21 December

The search for a missing firefighter has returned to “a dangerous area” which flooded around an outdoor swimming pool.

Anthony Knott, 33, disappeared during a work night out in Lewes, East Sussex, on 20 December.

Officers have carried out a land and water search of the local area involving boats, dogs and drones.

Det Insp John Gillings said Sussex Police officers would once again search the area around Pells Pool.

He said the public had been “absolutely fantastic” but urged people “not to come down and be involved with any further physical searches”.

“The Pells’ floodwater has dropped but it is still a dangerous area and we have got specialist trained search officers down there working in teams,” he added.

He said said officers would also be doing “CCTV sweeps” in the hunt for leads and carrying out house-to-house inquiries around The Lamb pub in Fisher Street.

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Media captionPolice said a “slight bounce” in Mr Knott’s walk and his hand rubbing might jog someone’s memory

Family, friends and concerned members of the public have been searching different locations across Lewes, including fields and outskirts.

Phil Michael, an old friend of Mr Knott, said they were “branching further out” but the firefighters were “wading in the Pells again” where the water was subsiding.

He said Mr Knott was a “really nice bloke who wouldn’t hurt a fly”.

“I just feel the urge to keep looking for him. I think he would do the same for me,” he added.

Mr Knott, of Orpington, has not been seen since leaving his colleagues at the pub, for unknown reasons, at about 19:15 GMT.

Det Insp Gillings said there was currently no information about where he was going.

On Sunday, Sussex Search and Rescue shared images from its searches of the River Ouse, between Lewes and Newhaven, on social media.

Police said the search would continue to focus on “the vicinity of the Pells which is the direction he was last seen walking when he left the pub”.

“But obviously there is now additional CCTV that shows him heading in a different direction, slightly later on,” Det Insp Gillings said.

Footage shows Mr Knott walking along White Hill at 19:19, before heading back along the road in the opposite direction about 20 minutes later.

An earlier image showed him walking up Market Street – towards the pub – at 19:41, 20 minutes after his phone was turned off or the battery died.

Mr Knott, who is 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall, was wearing a black long-sleeved top, dark denim coat, dark jeans and black shoes.

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Eddie Micthell

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East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews have previously carried out searches along the River Ouse

Det Insp Gillings said: “Anthony walks on the balls of his feet which makes it looks as though he is bouncing along.”

He also said he could be seen rubbing his hands in the newly-released CCTV footage.

“We can see him doing [this] within the pub itself earlier in the evening,” he added.

Mr Knott’s partner Lucy Otto previously said of his disappearance: “This isn’t something he would intentionally do. He wouldn’t want to stay away.”

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Sussex Police

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CCTV shows Mr Knott in Market Street walking back towards the pub

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