UPDTAE 10.15am: SENIOR police will address the media this morning following the recovery of a man's body in the Richmond River at Woodburn.

The body is believed to be that of a man who had been missing since Tuesday evening.

Emergency services were called to Woodburn at 7.30pm on Tuesday night responding to reports the 45-year-old had fallen into the river and hadn't been seen since.

A search of the river and riverbank began involving local police, volunteers and the SES in boats, assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

About 10am today the 45-year-old's body was located in the river.

As the investigation continues, police are now trying to piece together the movements of the man prior to his death.

Anyone with information that may assist should contact Crime Stoppers.

More information to come as the story develops.

UPDATE 8.20am: POLICE divers will resume the search this morning for a man missing in the Richmond River at Woodburn since Tuesday night.

Richmond Police District Inspector Tom Kirk said divers would expanding the search area today, after yesterday's all-day operation turned up no sign of 45-year-old Robert Doyle.

Inspector Kirk said police were also awaiting the results of a crime scene examination by forensic specialists, where Mr Doyle is believed to have fallen into the river about 7.30pm on Tuesday night.

Inspector Kirk said the divers would be focusing on structural areas of the riverbank, including trees and rocks.

"If there is no luck there, then they will use sonar to go to the deeper parts of the river," he said.

The SES, Police Rescue, and general duties police will assist in the operation today.

UPDATE 4.50pm: IN THE tiny township of Woodburn crime is almost non-existent.

But last night the town was flooded by police and emergency services personnel who have since set up camp on the edge of the river to search for a man's body.

A search of the river and riverbank resumed this morning involving local police, volunteers and the SES in boats, along with the NSW Police Dive Unit.

Owner of Burntwood Café and Pizza Alex Clark said he wouldn't have been surprised if everyone in Woodburn was out of their house last night looking at the police helicopters who were flying over the river and residences.

"We went out to our backyard and next minute there we are in the spotlight," Mr Clark said.

"And there was a police boat on the river also shining the spotlight. My son was walking along the street and he was shocked to find himself caught among it.

"At the same time there were police cars and sirens, that was the first indicator.

"We thought it might have been an accident and later we saw an ambulance and SES too.

"We still didn't know what had happened this morning until talking (to other locals).

"It's a big deal in Woodburn, what's going on."

Mr Clark said the town had seen "a lot of excitement" during the last week.

He said a man had driven in to a Lack mobile start/stop sign which was the talk of the town.

"We've had a couple of exciting things lately, there was a guy maybe a month ago now (who was involved in a car chase).

"We're all working away and the next minute there was a terrible noise…the police had taken out his tyres and he was driving on three rims, making a racket going through town. Everyone was on the street taking photos. 

"But a normal day is pretty normal, we just work. There are a lot of travellers. That's a normal day in Woodburn."

Mr Clark said he'd never met the men involved in the incident this week and they hardly saw the rough sleepers.

"Woodburn is a quiet little town, that's why I live here."

Mark Waters Co-owner of Rich River Coffee said all he knew is information he got from the service station at 5am yesterday morning.

"That's a person went missing at the back of the hall, his name was Rob and he was homeless," Mr Waters said.

"He was hanging out there with someone else, and he fell in and the other person went in to help but he couldn't. He went across to the service station and got them to alert the police.

Mr Waters said he was unaware the other man at the scene fronted court this morning.

But I don't know them.

"All I know is yesterday they were apparently heavily intoxicated.

"These things happen very rarely here."

 

UPDATE, 1.40pm: MISSING 45-year-old Robert Doyle, who has not been recovered from the river at Woodburn, is believed to be new to town.

Police and SES crews are still at the scene on the Richmond River with crew in the river and awaiting the arrival of water police.

The two men involved in the incident last night were believed to be heavily intoxicated.

Insp Doug Conners said they believe the male has been in town for a couple of days, and reports are he has been seen residing on the riverbank.

"We are still making inquiries to try and confirm the identity of that person.

"At this stage a 42-year-old male has been charged in relation to a matter that is alleged to have occurred a short time before the gentlemen went into the river but that matter is before the court.

Insp Conners said the man was apparently intoxicated when he went into the river.

"At this stage we would hope he may be alive."

"Conditions last night as I understand it was the incoming tide and were  fairly calm conditions.

He said at this stage the only information has come from the 42-year-old man who is assisting police with their inquiries, but they will be reviewing CCTV footage from the main street.

"The information police have is the 42-year-old (currently assisting police) is a homeless man who is well known to the local area."

UPDATE 10.30am: POLICE forensic specialists are taking photographs of a crime scene on the banks of the Richmond River where a search is underway for a missing man.

Police conduct a forensic examination at the memorial hall on the banks of the Richmond River at Woodburn after a man went missing in the river last night.
Police conduct a forensic examination at the memorial hall on the banks of the Richmond River at Woodburn after a man went missing in the river last night. JASMINE BURKE

Inspector Doug Conners said police were called shortly after 7.20pm last night in relation to the 45-year-old male who ended up in the river.

"It was reported to police by a friend who was with him at the time, and it appears at some stage both those persons had fallen into the water and the 45-year-old male failed to resurface," Inspector Conners said.

"Police searched extensively last night with Westpac helicopter as well as assests on the water.

"A further search is underway.

"Police divers and water police are on the way as well.

"The circumstances by which the man came to be in the water are under investigation."

UPDATE 9.30am: A MAN has been charged in relation to an incident on the banks of the Richmond River last night as police mount a search for the missing man this morning.

There is more information here: Man lost in river allegedly fell in after being assaulted

Local police have also requested the assistance of police divers who are expected to arrive from Sydney some time this morning to join the search. 

SES are searching the Richmond River at Woodburn for a man who went missing after an alleged altercation.
SES are searching the Richmond River at Woodburn for a man who went missing after an alleged altercation. JASMINE BURKE

UPDATE, 6.40am: A MAN who was seen falling into the Richmond River at Woodburn last night remains missing despite a major search and rescue operation.

The operation initially commenced around 9pm last night following a report of a 45-year-old male who was seen falling into the Richmond River.

The Woodburn SES unit deployed boats and spotlights, and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter assisted from the air.

Richmond Police District Inspector Doug Conners said this morning the operation was "ongoing" and would resume this morning with assistance from the SES.

More information to come.

ORIGINAL: EMERGENCY services are conducting a search of the Richmond River at Woodburn.

Residents are reporting the Westpac Rescue Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, SES and police have been searching the river by air and boat with spotlights since about 9pm.

Resident Samantha Elley said she heard emergency services were searching for a person in the river.

She said they were alerted to the search by sirens and the helicopter flying low overhead with search lights on.



Unmentionable theatre play about hard life choices

premium_icon Unmentionable theatre play about hard life choices

Cock is a play about a man and a woman competing for the same lover

There's a house for everyone, no matter your budget

premium_icon There's a house for everyone, no matter your budget

Lismore houses offer a home for all budgets

Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers

premium_icon Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers

Former employees are owed more than $1 million

Local Partners