River where ‘strong swimmer’ Nicola went missing has ‘very little flow’ – expert

The river that missing mum and “strong swimmer” Nicola Bulley disappeared near “has very little flow on it”.

Ms Bulley hasn’t been seen in over 10 days since she was spotted by a fellow dog walker on the River Wyre near St Michael's in Lancashire.

Speaking on the True Crime Newsquest podcast, investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas discussed the ongoing search for the dog walker, who went missing on January 27.

READ MORE:'Issue' with missing Nicola Bulley's dog may have led her to tragedy at river's edge

“The river wasn’t under floods and you can see from those shots…that that river has very little flow on it," he said

"Yes, it ebbs and weaves around corners but there is very little flow on that river."

The weather and water are understood to have been particularly cold in recent weeks.

Williams-Thomas spoke with former special forces member Peter Faulding, who is leading the efforts from the private diving group Specialist Group International (SGI), to find Ms Bulley.

The expert diving team are assisting with the search using high-tech sonar equipment.

He told Williams-Thomas: “[The river] is quite slow moving. The river is not in flood. If we had lots of rain the week before the river could rise and it could have flowed very quick[ly].

  • Police's theory Nicola Bulley fell into river is rubbished by forensic expert

“It’s moving very slowly – it’s shallow in places, it’s deep in places – it’s going to be a bit of a challenge.”

He added: “The good thing is, patches of it are shallow… But we’ll be concentrating on the deeper water."

Peter said the sonar would be able to pick up “every rock, every stick laying on the bottom”.

The news about the nature of the river come after friends of Nicola Bulley challenged the police’s working hypothesis that she had fallen in the river

Giving details into the habits of Ms Bulley, pal Tilly Ann said on Facebook: "Nikki is an incredibly strong swimmer.”

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Speaking on the podcast, Williams-Thomas said to Peter: “There’s quite a lot of movement around the river bank as well isn’t there? It moves to an angle.

“So, there’s a possibility that if she had gone in the water she could have been caught."

Mr Faulding replied: “Yes, that’s correct Mark… We generally find in normal benign water – not tidal fast water – [that] when people go down they’re generally not far from where they went down.

"Nicola, there’s hope she’s not in there and she’s alive somewhere. If she is in there then I’m totally confident that we’ll find her.”


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