The 29-year-old went missing while on a night out, and his family want to mount their own search.
November 25, 2015
The family of Skipton man Rory Johnson-Hatfield has asked the public for help after Yorkshire police called off their search for the missing 29-year-old.
Rory went missing in the early morning hours of Friday, November 20. His father Doug Hatfield spoke out on the public facebook group ‘Rory Johnson is Missing!’ in an appeal for help in continuing the search of York’s River Ouse, where Rory may have fallen in.
Hatfield wrote: “”The river search for Rory by the police has now ended and we have not yet been informed as to when or if it will be resumed.
“I would like to make an appeal to anybody that has a boat on the river Ouse in York that the family could use in order to resume this part of the search. Thank you in advance.”
Charity organisation York Rescue Boat, which assisted in the police search, has strongly advised against the public making unassisted searches due to high water levels on the River Ouse.
Hatfield’s appeal has met with offers of help, in spite of the warnings, however many posters have expressed concern over the potential dangers of venturing onto the river while it is in flood.
Dave Benson, chairman and director of operations for York Rescue Boat, posted: “While this is an extremely difficult time, I would strongly advise people not to make unassisted searches of the river. Currently the river is at flood levels and even when the river goes down it will still pose many dangers for sometime after.”
He asked for Rory’s family to contact him directly so he could advise how the organisation could offer its assistance and guidance.
He said that the rescue boat, with its trained personnel, would not be deployed for a search during current conditions but would work with the family to carry out surface searches when the floodwaters have receded.
Police released more CCTV images of Johnson-Hatfield this week which show him in Tower Street in York at 00:39 GMT and in the City Mills area at 00:47.
November 24, 2015
Members of the Yorkshire and the Humber Underwater Search & Marine Unit are set to resume the search today for Rory Johnson-Hatfield, 29, of Skipton.
The Yorkshireman has not been seen since he disappeared early Friday morning during a night out in York.
The marine search unit is set to resume searching the River Ouse after using sonar equipment to scan the riverbed yesterday. This initial tactic precedes the use of specially-trained divers.
Divers also began searching the river yesterday just before 3 pm, with members of the York Rescue Boat accompanying the underwater search unit as a safety precaution.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said that Johnson-Hatfield was drinking in the Postern Gate Hotel pub Thursday with another hotel guest and the guest’s father.
The trio carried on to another pub nearby around 11:30, according to police, and Johnson-Hatfield reportedly left the pub at 12:30 am Friday. His companions believed he had either gone to the toilet or returned to the hotel.
It remains unclear what happened to the 29-year old, but police are working on a suspicion he may have fallen in the water while walking near the River Ouse in the Castle Mills area of York.
In addition to police searches, UK charity Missing People has asked the public to aid in the search for Johnson-Hatfield.
Missing posters have gone up in public areas around the city and a Facebook group called ‘Rory Johnson is missing!’ has formed, with more than 10,000 followers. The hashtag #FindRory is in use on social media, as well.
The Facebook group asks: “If anyone recalls seeing Rory or someone matching his description in York on Thursday evening or Friday please phone police on 101 without delay, quoting reference number 1215020714.”
Yacht wreckage found on Redcar Beach sparks appeal
Fire fighters called out to battle barge blaze in Yorkshire