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Man missing after car is swept away in Kendal river

A man is believed to be missing after his car went into a river and was swept away, police said.

A major search operation was launched after reports of a vehicle going into the River Kent in Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District.

Cumbria Police said witnesses reported "a car being swept down the river along with an older man near to the vehicle, in difficulty" after alerting officers at 3.50pm today.

A major search operation was launched involving police, firefighters, mountain rescue teams, coastal search and rescue, and the coastguard, including helicopters.

But bad weather forced them to scale back their search this evening.

A police spokesman said: "Witnesses have reported seeing a car being swept down the river along with an older man near to the vehicle, in difficulty.

"The search has been conducted under difficult weather conditions and the dangers to the emergency service personnel involved means that unfortunately the search has had to be scaled back with an air search continuing at this time by the Coastguard's Helicopter. This will be reviewed again in the morning."

Police have warned the public not to search themselves because of "the extreme dangers of the condition of the banks and the rising river".

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