A 13-year-old boy is missing after falling into the River Thames from Tower Bridge on his way to school, according to reports.
The teenager had been wearing his full uniform as he made his way to The Ark Globe Academy in Southwark, London, on Tuesday at around 8am.
He and a friend had boarded a bus together but the youngster got off near Tower Bridge – ahead of his usual stop in Elephant and Castle – before falling into the river, the school’s principal said in a letter sent to parents.
River police, firefighters, the RNLI and a police helicopter were all involved in the search for the youngster.
The boy’s name was included in the letter but has not yet formally been released.
Police have launched a search for a 13-year-old boy who went missing after falling into the River Thames from Tower Bridge on his way to school (emergency services at the scene)
River police, firefighters, the RNLI (pictured) and a police helicopter were also involved in the search for the youngster
In the letter, seen by MailOnline, Principal Matt Jones wrote: ‘It is with worry that I share news about [the boy’s name], a Year 8 student at Ark Globe Academy.
‘On the morning of Tuesday 20 April, [he] did not make his way into school despite travelling on a bus with a friend in full school uniform.
‘He got off the bus near Tower Bridge before his usual bus stop nearest to Ark Globe Academy and fell into the River Thames.
‘At this moment in time, police are treating this case as a “missing persons’ incident”.’
He added: ‘This is obviously distressing news for (the boy’s) family, friends and the wider Ark Globe community.
‘Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.’
The principal acknowledged that the past year has been ‘very difficult’ for everyone and urged parents to contact the school or NSPCC, the UK’s top children’s charity, if they need help.
The teenager had been wearing his full uniform as he made his way to The Ark Globe Academy in Southwark, London, on Tuesday at around 8am when he fell from the bridge (emergency services at the scene)
Emergency services (pictured on the River Thames) including the river police, firefighters, the RNLI and a police helicopter were all involved in the search
The boy is believed to have celebrated his 13th birthday only last week.
One witness, who was working on a building site on the South Bank, told The Sun: ‘We all heard him screaming for help, and then a woman who was just walking past with her boyfriend grabbed a float and jumped into the river.
‘She said “why isn’t anybody helping him” before jumping in herself.
‘The woman jumped in seconds after but all she could bring back was his school jacket and his bag.’
A spokeswoman for City of London Police told MailOnline: ‘City of London Police is leading an investigation into a missing person, working alongside our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service.
The 13-year-old boy, who is believed to have celebrated his birthday only last week, is missing after falling into the River Thames from Tower Bridge on his way to school
City of London Police (pictured at the scene) are currently treating it as a “missing persons’ incident”
‘We believe this is linked to an incident where a child fell into the Thames from Tower Bridge.
‘Despite an intensive search by City of London Police, the police helicopter and marine units, this person has not yet been found.
‘We ask anyone who witnessed anything on Tuesday 20 April at 8.09am, to call us on 020 7601 2999, quoting reference 21000215310.’
MailOnline has contacted The Ark Globe Academy for further comment.