THE search for a missing angler who disappeared while fishing in Dunbar Harbour was called off last Thursday morning following an extensive 24-hour rescue operation.

The casualty, believed to be a 60-year-old Edinburgh man, is feared drowned following the search of coastal waters by an RAF helicopter, Dunbar and North Berwick RNLI crews and the coastguard.

A member of the public raised the alarm last Wednesday after spotting a discarded mobile phone, clothes, bag and shoes near the entrance to Dunbar Harbour.

A fishing rod was also seen floating in the water. Further investigations established that the owner of the equipment had not returned home as expected.

Following police inquiries, a massive search operation got underway at about 6pm last Wednesday and continued until light faded. Rescuers resumed their search early on Thursday morning but were stood down at around 11.30am. It is believed the angler was swept out to sea.

Dunbar RNLI coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: 'The man was seen fishing and is thought to have been a regular visitor to the harbour.

'After the alarm was raised, we found a rod floating near the spot where the shoes were left and can only conclude that he must have fallen in while trying to get the rod back.

'We carried out extensive searches on Wednesday night and Thursday morning but to no avail. Lifeboat crews joined coastguards in beach searches too but again without any success.'