Communities rally again with extensive searches for Sophie Smith
PUBLISHED: 17:46 30 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:46 30 December 2017
Additional searches have been carried out as members of coastal communities persist with their efforts to find missing student Sophie Smith.
The 21-year-old disappeared from her home on Avondale Road in Gorleston at 3am on Boxing Day morning, wearing only a vest and shorts.
CCTV footage captured her heading towards the seafront a short time later, but there have been no other confirmed sightings since then.
Sophie’s disappearance has prompted a remarkable reaction from local people and hundreds have been joining the emergency services to help scour the coastline in the hope that she will be found.
Two further searches - organised by the Find Sophie Smith Facebook group - took place in coastal areas this afternoon (December 30).
At midday, a group gathered at the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth before spreading themselves out as widely as possible along the beach and trekking north through Caister-on-Sea, California and beyond.
Whilst the first search was still going on, a second search began at Hopton Holiday Village from 2.30pm.
As the community rallies to try and locate Sophie, Emma Flaxman-Taylor, a Great Yarmouth Borough Councillor for the Gorleston ward, expressed how pleased she has been to see so many people join the search effort.
“It’s so touching to realise what a close community we have,” said Mrs Flaxman-Taylor. “At times like this people really do get involved, but I’m not surprised at all to see it.
“Everyone really has pulled together and a couple of the councillors have been out on the searches too.
“I’ve got an 18-year-old son and I wouldn’t know what to do if he went missing. It’s a terrible time of year for it happen and my thoughts are with Sophie’s family and friends.”
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Sophie Smith should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101.