Girlfriend 'heartbroken' as search for Scot in Prague enters fifth day

Joop Sparkes, from Galashiels, reportedly went overboard during an organised party boat trip on the Vltava River.

Girlfriend of Joop Sparkes ‘heartbroken’ as search for missing Galashiels man in Prague enters fifth day Charley Maben via Supplied

The girlfriend of a man who jumped off a party boat in Prague has said she is “heartbroken” as the search for the missing Scot enters its fifth day.

Joop Sparkes, from Galashiels, reportedly went overboard during an organised party boat trip with friends on the Vltava River at around 1am on Sunday, April 27.

His girlfriend, Charley Maben, and members of his family have flown out to the Czech capital in an effort to find him.

As the search enters day five, Charley has said she feels “neglected and abandoned” by Czech authorities as Joop remains missing.

Joop Sparkes remains missing. Charley Maben via Supplied

“We are all heartbroken and just want Joop home,” she told STV News.

“We feel neglected and abandoned by everyone over here. No one is keeping in touch with us or updating us about anything.

“All of us over here and all Joop’s family and friends just want him home. He is very, very loved and we all miss him so so much.”

Charley and Joop’s loved ones have said they are walking 13 miles a day along the marina and nearby riverbanks in an effort to locate the 29-year-old.

They are planning on riding the party boat themselves on Friday evening to try and get a scope of where Joop could have jumped.

“We still continue to walk the length of the river banks, checking out buildings, checking the homeless people who are wrapped in sleeping bags and pulling clothing from the river to check it’s not Joop’s,” she added.

“We are also checking along the boats to make sure he’s not either on or in the water near. We have spoke to people and ask if they have seen him, some are lovely and some unfortunately are very evil.

“Tonight we plan to head down to the party boat to see what the protocol is regarding people on the boat, its route, how fast or slow it travels, where Joop could have jumped (for our own peace of mind) and at the end of the trip are people counted off.

“We plan to follow the boat from the banks, we are going to split up and walk at either side to get a proper feel for the area of water involved.”

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help fund the family’s search efforts, and has so far raised over £10,000.

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

An FCDO spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has gone missing in Czech Republic and are in contact with the local authorities”.

The Czech police have been contacted for comment.

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