Huge search launched for man missing 12 hours after falling off boat into freezing river

The man fell off the boat into the River Lea around 7pm last night (Image: @999London)

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A massive search operation has been launched in east London after a man fell off a boat into the freezing River Lea.

Emergency services rushed to the scene by Lea Bridge, Hackney, after it was reported a man had fallen in at around 7pm yesterday.

A large-scale search operation was launched with teams from the London Fire Brigade, the Met and the London Ambulance Service all mobilised.

No-one has yet been found and specialist officers from the Met Police were seen working in the waters this morning, MyLondon reports.

A spokesperson for the Met said: "Police were called at 7.04pm on Wednesday January 6 to reports that a man had fallen from a boat into the River Lea near Lea Bridge in Hackney.

(Image: @999London / Twitter)

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"Specialist officers from the Met's Marine Policing Unit are carrying out a search of the area.

"Enquiries are ongoing. "

According to the Met Office, the temperature yesterday was just 1 degree above zero.

Snow showers and freezing fog is forecast to sweep the UK in the coming days ahead of a second "Beast from the East" hitting next week.

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  • UK weather: Snow and -10C for freezing Britain today with Beast from the East next week

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for snow and ice covering almost all of the nation throughout Thursday and Friday.

Freezing temperatures ranging from 0C in London to -10C in the valleys in Wales are predicted overnight, picking up to between 2-5C for most places in the UK in the daytime.

From this afternoon until Friday morning, a yellow warning for ice covers the north and the entire east and west coasts of England and Wales, with only a small portion of central southern areas free from the warnings.

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