THE mother of a 11-year-old boy who went missing for more than six hours has said a “huge thank you” to those involved in finding her son.

George Pugh-Sargent went missing near the National Trust Car Park in Ringstead Bay shortly before 1.30pm on Monday afternoon as he was taking a walk with his family.

The people who found George, local homeowners Julia Roscoe and Debbie Sandels, spoke of their relief the moment they found him stuck in an eight-foot drainage ditch.

George’s sudden disappearance sparked a huge search effort which took more than six hours and involved 100 people from police, coastguards and a specialised search and rescue team. He was eventually found by local homeowners Julia Roscoe and Debbie Sandels, stuck in an eight-foot drainage ditch in a nearby field.

George escaped the ordeal relatively unharmed and now, George’s mother Barbara Pugh has thanked all those involved in the search and rescue mission She said: “I just wanted to say how very grateful all of George's family are for all the help we received yesterday from both public and professionals alike and the Dorset Echo.

“I know a lot of people were looking out for him, a lot of people came down to let us know that they were thinking of him and offering to look.

“It was all appreciated far more than I can ever say and we feel very lucky to have him back safe and sound.”

She also added that apart from suffering from shock and taking two baths to remove all of the mud from him, George was left with only a couple of scratches following the ordeal.

Julia Roscoe and Debbie Sandels, who live in two cottages in Holworth, decided to join in the search for him after the story was picked up on social media from Dorset Echo reports.

Julia Roscoe said: “There is a very overgrown patch of bramble and woodland in the field next to my garden and I just thought we should go and check it because the light was fading and it had started to rain.

“I fought my way through the brambles and as I reached the far side, I just saw his head popping out from the hole. I reached the edge and just said hello George, and he looked so cold, completely frozen.

“I tried to pull him out of the hole but I couldn’t. I was wearing my big sailing jacket so I jumped down into the hole and put the jacket on him to try and keep him warm, and “I said to him “George, what we really need is a ladder to climb out of the hole” and he seemed to like that and he just kept cheerfully asking me when the ladder was getting here.

“I then phoned Debbie to tell her where we were and we then phoned the police, and they came to us shortly after and pulled us both out of the hole.

“I was just so pleased he was found, that’s all that matters.”

Mrs Sandels added: “I went round the other side when Julia found him, and I decided to put some flapjack in my pocket before we went out, so I just gave him that when we found him. I can’t believe that we found him really, it’s amazing but also quite lucky. I am just so pleased he was safe and well and that he was unharmed.”