POLICE divers have been searching the River Dane as fears grow about the safety of a missing Middlewich man.
Timothy James Drinkwater went missing from his home at Paddock View, Finney's Lane, on Saturday morning at about 9am.
Mr Drinkwater, 43, went out with his cocker spaniel George, saying he planned to visit friends.
But when George returned without his master, police were called and launched a major operation to find Mr Drinkwater.
Cheshire's police plane has been scanning the area and the Environment Agency was called in to shift a tree which had fallen into the River Dane after a passer-by thought he saw a body in the water.
It was feared a body could be trapped under the tree and a police underwater team has been searching the river for any sign of Mr Drinkwater, so far without success.
Sergeant Martin Baker, the police search advisor, said yesterday: 'Mr Drinkwater is known to walk his dog along the canal and the river.
'A passer-by may have seen something in the river, so the underwater team has been searching.
'We have had to get a tree, which has been in the water for over a year, shifted. It has made deep pits in the bank, which we have been searching.
'The police spotter plane has been out filming the river and we will study that video and have a review of the search on Wednesday if Mr Drinkwater has still not turned up.'
The missing man is described as white, 5'8² to 5'9² tall, with short, slightly receding, sandy hair. He was wearing jeans and a navy blue three-quarter-length coat with the 'Schweppes' logo.
Mr Drinkwater suffered a slight paralysis of his right side, which gave him a limp.
* Anyone with information should call police at Northwich on 48000.