Nicola Bulley: Diver blasts 'keyboard warriors' who say he has ulterior motives for helping search
Peter Faulding has faced some online criticism for helping in the search for missing Nicola Bulley, with some suggesting he is doing it for money or publicity.
Watch: Nicola Bulley diver blasts 'keyboard warriors' who say he has ulterior motives for helping search
The diver who is leading the underwater search for missing mother Nicola Bulley has blasted "keyboard warriors" who say he has ulterior motives for helping.
Bulley, 45, went missing on 27 January in St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, and Peter Faulding, leader of underwater search experts Specialist Group International (SGI), has been searching the River Wyre for two days after being called in by the family to help.
However, Faulding has faced some online criticism for helping in the search, with some suggesting he is doing it for money or publicity.
But when asked to respond to those claims, Faulding insisted there was "no ulterior motive" for getting involved in the search.
He told TalkTV: "I have no ulterior motive. I have given my time to many cases free of charge.
"We get paid to do police diving operations but I offered my services for a whole week to [murdered child] April Jones. There was no media for that, I never gave any interviews for that."
Faulding said he "does not need publicity", and insisted he only gave out information when he was asked to.
He added: "The press have come to me for this... if I don't give information I get slated.
"I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't. There's no ulterior motive."
When asked if he had a message to people criticising him online, Faulding said: "I suggest they come out and look for dead people under water on a freezing cold night at three in the morning when dealing with a drowning victim and watch them get pulled out the water.
"They are heartless individuals."
Faulding, whose SIG team are working free of charge, hit the headlines after he went against the police narrative that Bulley drowned after falling into the river.
He told TalkTV: “I personally don’t think she’s in the river, that’s just my gut instinct at this point.”
In a separate media interview on Monday night, Faulding admitted he was “baffled” by the case.
“Police were there on day one diving where the phone was found on the bench,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Normally, if a person has drowned, they go down within a few metres if being searched for the same day.
“In another couple of days I will be confident she is not in that area at all. We have the best sonar you can buy. We have scanned a huge area today (Monday) and there is nothing there.”
The expert diver added: “A body will move after a time, but they searched that area and came up with nothing – that is what is weird here. We are baffled.”
Faulding has said if his team does not find her in the water using his sonar equipment then he believes she has not been in the river and raised “third party” involvement in the disappearance.
But Superintendent Sally Riley, from Lancashire Police, told reporters that Faulding is not included in “all the investigation detail”.
“In the light of other inquiries being discounted from the investigation so far... clearly our main belief is that Nicola did fall into the river.
“Clearly Mr Faulding isn’t included within all the investigation detail any more than the members of the public are that I’m briefing through these sorts of press conferences.”
Divers are extending their search into the sea after searches in the river found no evidence.