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Search for missing Sophie Smith called off due to bad weather

PUBLISHED: 14:25 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:25 03 January 2018

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues in Gorleston.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues in Gorleston. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A search for missing student Sophie Smith has been called off because of the bad weather.

Three images of missing Sophie Smith, who has not been seen since she left her Gorleston home in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. Pictures: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo/Norfolk PoliceThree images of missing Sophie Smith, who has not been seen since she left her Gorleston home in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. Pictures: With permission of @sarah_janee_xo/Norfolk Police

An unofficial search party was due to scour the coastline around Lowestoft from 2pm but the strong winds led the organiser to cancel it for safety reasons.

Police announced on Tuesday they have scaled back their hunt, a week after the 21-year-old was last seen in a CCTV image leaving her family home in Avondale Road, Gorleston running towards the sea.

Police have confirmed they are scaling back their search for the student, who it is believed left the house wearing just a vest and shorts at 3am between Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with a spokesman saying they have made “all the inquiries we can.”

One of the moderators of the Find Sophie Smith Facebook page, Tom Mardell, warned the group’s more than 30,000 members to be safe during the stormy weather.

The 27-year-old added: “We’ve got a massive storm coming in the next few days so as warned by professionals, please be careful and stay away from dangerous places along the coast.

“The weather is awful. That wind is deadly along the coast and I stand by what I asked, please, please do not go on searches along there today.”

He instead urged the group’s members to ‘share and spam everywhere possible’ to get Sophie’s name as far as possible.

On Tuesday, unofficial searches were carried out at Breydon Water, Bacton, Walcott, Happisburgh, Eccles, Sea Palling, Winterton, Hembsy, Caister, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth.

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