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Public urged to help in search for missing student Sophie

PUBLISHED: 14:22 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:22 28 December 2017

A search for missing student Sophie Smith has taken place on Great Yarmouth beach. Photo: George Ryan/Norfolk Police

A search for missing student Sophie Smith has taken place on Great Yarmouth beach. Photo: George Ryan/Norfolk Police

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The family of missing student Sophie Smith have led the search efforts for her on a beach today.

A search underneath the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA search underneath the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The 21-year-old has not been seen since she went missing from her home in Avondale Road, Gorleston at about 3am on Boxing Day morning.

A search party met on Great Yarmouth beach near the Britannia Pier at 9am on Thursday morning to search the area either side of the landmark.

The group split in two, with one heading north towards Casiter searching the dunes at North Denes and the other heading south searching the main beach up to the Wellington Pier and then to the Pleasure Beach.

The search was organised by Sophie’s stepsister Lauren Shaw who wrote a post on the Find Sophie Smith Facebook group asking people to join a morning search.

MORE: Missing Sophie going through “rough time” prior to disappearance – police say

She said: “She needs to come home. The pier is a key part to the tides. Anyone who wants to join me feel free.

“Just because a place has been checked already things change so check again and again.”

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Another family member thanked the community and the emergency services for all of their help.

He said it was good to know their were so many people out there who were helping in the search efforts.

About 12 people joined the early search with another two planned for later in the day.

A search party on the beach at Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA search party on the beach at Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

One took place further along the coast at Lowestoft at 11.30am and one is planned for the Beacon Park Industrial Estate and Beacon Wood starting at 2.30pm.

The meeting point for the Beacon Park search, on the edge of Gorleston, the Toby Carvery Captain Manbys pub and restaurant.

Anyone wishing to join the search is advised to wear walking shoes, water proof trousers and a coat.

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Organiser Emma Gallagher said: “This is a vast estate so we need as many people as we can.

“Myself and my friend went over there last night, but the area is so large we were unable to cover it alone. There is woodland going around the estate this is why it’s important to have the right clothing.”

She said most importantly people should bring a good bright torch.

A man searches the beach in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA man searches the beach in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A search by the Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA search by the Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A search underneath the Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth took place. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA search underneath the Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth took place. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A man searches in the dunes on Great Yarmouth beach. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA man searches in the dunes on Great Yarmouth beach. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The search party looking towards the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanThe search party looking towards the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A group search the beach between the piers in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA group search the beach between the piers in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

A group search the beach between the two piers in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanA group search the beach between the two piers in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe search for missing girl Sophie Smith continues on Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The search party convenes by the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanThe search party convenes by the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

The search party convenes by the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George RyanThe search party convenes by the Britannia Pier in Great Yarmouth. Family members lead the search for missing 21-year-old student Sophie Smith who was last seen at home in Gorleston. Photo: George Ryan

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