(photos used with permission of the Harbourmaster for the non-tidal River Thames. Additional reporting by Katie Sylvester.)
The river between the bridge and lock was closed from 8am today to search for a submerged car, but ended without it being located – so the search will continue at some point in the future.
The car was spotted in April when a search was underway for missing person, and it is not known how long the car has been there. To avoid disruption over summer, it was left until now to attempt recovery. Sonar searches first thing this morning could not locate it, so divers were sent down, and thus the intended 2pm finish was not possible.
The river remained closed to traffic while divers were in the river, but the Environment Agency officers were escorting boats through whenever safe to do so. At the same time, they were carrying out boat registration checks in the reach, with 5 out of 19 found to be unregistered! (The owners will be subject to enforcement action which could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1000…)
Thames Valley Police plan to continue the search on another day, hopefully without need for a river closure on that occasion.