Divers called in to find Nicola Bulley say ‘if she’s there, we’ll find her fast’

The specialised divers called in by Lancashire Police to help in the search for missing mum Nicola Bulley haved vowed to find her "in minutes" if she's in the river.

Ms Bulley was last seen walking her dog next to the River Wyre in Lancashire at around 9:10am on January 27 and police are working to unravel the events of that day think she may have slipped and fallen into the water.

Police have now enlisted the help of underwater search team Specialist Group International, led by forensic expert Peter Faulding.

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They have been enlsited to help after their offer was initially rebuffed by Lancashire Police, but Nicola's family urged the force to reconsider.

The group will be launching its ‘top of the market’ 18,000khz side scan sonar at some point today, a move that Peter says could help his crew find Nicola in "minutes".

Mr Faulding told the Mirror: “If Nicola is in there, we will find her. If she’s there, our sonar will pick her up straight away.

“I will see a body on the bottom. We are dealing with about 10 drownings every summer. We always locate within the hour. It’s that quick, it’s that good.

“Nicola wouldn’t have gone far if she was in this river because it’s got shallows and she would get lodged. There’s no way she would have gone out to the estuary. The river’s not in flood, it’s benign.”

Peter has offered Specialist Group International's services free of charge. Peter normally charges around £4,000 a day.

Mr Faulding said if Nicola fell into the river and was conscious, cold water shock could have “taken her breath away” and her energy would have been zapped, eventually leading to drowning.

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It would then take a few days for a body to resurface as it decomposes, unless it is caught on something.

But he said if she was fit and healthy and a reasonable swimmer, she could have pulled herself out, if not at the point of entry further down the bank.

Mr Faulding said the police likely do have similar sonar but it probably isn't as powerful as his team's and they likely don't have the same level of expertise and personnel to focus on using it.

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Despite his trust in his top of the range equiment, Mr Faulding is not convinced Nicola is in the water.

"There’s something, in my opinion, not quite right here," he said.

Specialist Group International is a "world-renowned provider of 24/7 specialist rescue response to police, fire and other government agencies," according to its website.

Peter Faulding said on social media after the partnership was agreed: "Time is of the essence and I would like to state that my offer to assist in the search is not in an attempt to take over or criticise what the police are doing. Its purely to bring extra valuable resources to this difficult search for the good of the family."


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