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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Body found is that of missing Carlisle fisherman

A fisherman, missing for more than two months, has been found dead on marshland near Carlisle.

Robert Heaton photo
Robert Heaton

The body of Robert Heaton, who disappeared last November when he left his home to go fishing, was found by a member of the public yesterday.

The discovery of Mr Heaton, a father-of-two who would have been 42 on Monday, brings to an end an agonising wait for his family. Several appeals for information about his whereabouts had been issued by both police and family members, with one fellow angler, David Harmison, 49, vowing to search for him every day.

Mr Heaton had not been seen since he left his home in Belah Road on November 16 to go fishing.

A major search operation was launched after his baseball cap and fishing rod were found on the banks of the River Eden, near Etterby, the following day.

HM Coastguard, police, volunteers and an RAF helicopter scoured a two-mile stretch of the river and parts of the Solway coast but found nothing.

The body found yesterday morning, shortly before 11am, was discovered on marshland at Castletown, north of Carlisle.

Nith inshore rescue team was among those called out, together with the coastguard.

Robbie Cowan, secretary of Nith, said they had were paged by the Liverpool coastguard to go out on standby at around 12.30pm.

“We got to the location and waited while Burgh took out a special piece of equipment they have for going over mud.”

Mr Cowan said their team of five was not needed in the end as Burgh managed to reach the casualty, ‘well out’ in Rockcliffe marsh, he said.

Coastguard helped police officers to recover Mr Heaton, who was formally identified late last night. The coroner is to be informed.

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