A MOTHER’S hopes of finding her missing son have received a boost after a professional diver offered his services free of charge to help in the search for him.
Catherine Leach says she is reaching the end of her tether in a bid to find out what happened to 25-year-old son Danny Smith, who “disappeared off the face of the earth” seven weeks ago.
The former Whitburn Comprehensive School pupil has not been seen since Friday, March 20.
On the day he disappeared, Danny had been drinking at the Yates’s bar in Holmeside, Sunderland, with a friend, before returning to his home in Villette Path, Hendon.
At 6.40pm, he bought cigarettes at a local shop, and his girlfriend received a picture text from him, taken near the Little Italy restaurant on Seaburn seafront, at 8pm.
He did make one final unanswered call to his girlfriend at 8.40pm that night, with the last ping recorded on his mobile phone placing him in the Marsden area of South Shields, around the same time.
If Danny is dead we want to know the truth, that is all we have ever asked.Catherine Leach
Mrs Smith is now waiting for the diver to carry out a sea search for Danny off the South Tyneside coast.
Miss Leach described the diver’s intervention is a “blessing” and accepts her son could be dead after falling into the coastal waters.
She said: “He is coming on Monday with his boat and all the equipment to carry out a costal search.
“I believe there is good weather next week which should help, but a lot will depend on the tides.
“It’s a wonderful thing that he is doing. It gives us hope.
“If Danny is dead we want to know the truth, that is all we have ever asked.”
Earlier this week, Miss Leach with friends and family, and with support from the police, carried out a search of the coast from Marsden Grotto to Souter Lighthouse and beyond.
They were hoping for any clue to what happened to Danny on the fateful day he went missing – but nothing of significance was found.
Miss Leach said: “The police had mapped the area off in sections, they did a really good job and I want to thank them for their efforts.
“We didn’t find anything, but I know we are now doing all we can to find Danny.”
Miss Leach, of South Shields, has also appealed for two cyclists – who stopped to allow someone thought to be Danny pass along a single track at the top of cliffs, known locally as “Jackie’s Beach” – to come forward, but no one has.