Search planes to take to skies as hunt continues for missing Sophie Smith

Sophie Smith, who has gone missing from Gorleston. Photo: Norfolk Police

Sophie Smith, who has gone missing from Gorleston. Photo: Norfolk Police - Credit: Norfolk Police

A volunteer search crew is taking to the skies today as the hunt continues for missing student Sophie Smith.

A plane belonging to Sky Watch Civil Air Patrol will fly over the coast around Sophie's native Gorleston looking for any signs of the 21-year-old, who has not been seen since Boxing Day.

Sophie, who studies at the University of East Anglia, was last seen at just after 3am on Boxing Day, prompting extensive searches and a huge community reaction.

A Facebook group devoted to finding her has attracted more than 30,000 members, with Tom Mardell - one of the group's administrators - vowing to conduct his own search as well.

He posted: 'There is no organised search today, however, I am heading to the coast myself for a look out so if you do have some spare time, perhaps a walk along the beach will be worth your time.

'We do, however, have a plane covering the coastline which has contact with me directly from the air.'

Martin Knowles, Sophie's father, has said he believes in his heart and mind that Sophie is still out there somewhere.

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However, yesterday, police revealed the student had left a note at her Avondale Road home disclosing her intentions to walk into the sea.

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