Anthony Knott Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Anthony Knott was due home in the early hours of 21 December

The body of a firefighter who went missing during a work night out has been found, Sussex Police have said.

Land and water searches with boats, dogs and drones took place to find London fireman Anthony Knott, 33, who was last seen in Lewes on 20 December.

Police said a member of the public alerted the force on Friday that a body had been found at Denton Island, in Newhaven harbour.

Det Insp Mark Rosser said officers believed it to be that of Mr Knott.

He thanked volunteers who turned out to help with the search.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Anthony at this difficult time,” he said.

Image copyright Eddie Micthell
Image caption East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews carried out searches along the River Ouse

Family, friends and concerned members of the public had helped to search different locations across Lewes when Mr Knott failed to return home.

Sussex Police and London Fire Brigade joined forces to search Pells Pool in Lewes and the Pellbrook Cut waterway.

Emergency teams also carried out searches of the nearby River Ouse.

Mr Knott, of Orpington, London, had left his friends at the The Lamb pub in Fisher Street, for unknown reasons, during his night out with colleagues.

He had been due to return home in the early hours the following day.

‘Incredibly saddened’

After he disappeared, his partner Lucy Otto wrote on Facebook that he had been in a happy mood, had loved his job and loved his family and had simply been on a Christmas night out.

Since the news emerged a body had been found, people have been posting condolences on social media.

One woman wrote: “I hope it’s a little comfort that Anthony has been found. I’m so sorry it’s not the outcome everyone was hoping for. RIP Anthony.”

Mr Knott played for Orpington Athletic FC. After it was confirmed coastguards and a lifeboat had recovered the body, the club tweeted it was “incredibly saddened” by the news.

On Twitter, London Fire Brigade Commissioner Andy Roe wrote: “I’m saddened to hear the news about firefighter Anthony Knott. All our thoughts remain with his family, friends and colleagues.”


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