Rescue teams looking for a vulnerable pensioner who has disappeared during freezing conditions have started underwater searches of a river.

Peter Carver, 89, is thought to have gone missing during the early hours of this morning in the Eastgate Gardens area of Taunton, Somerset.

Avon and Somerset Police said they have now turned their attention to the River Tone after CCTV coverage showed a man matching his description wading into the river.

Appealing for information on Mr Carver's whereabouts earlier today, a police spokesman said he may be wearing slippers and appear confused or depressed.

It is not known whether he has taken a coat or other outerwear, or if he has taken medication which he needs.

A police spokesman said: "Earlier this afternoon we started a search in and around the river using our underwater search team with assistance from the fire service's rescue boat and assistance from search and rescue teams.

"The search will continue as long as possible this evening and then continue tomorrow."

Officers said Mr Carver regularly walks around Taunton town centre and they earlier believed he may have been sheltering from the bad weather in a shop.

The force also appealed for people to check their sheds, outbuildings and garages as he may have sought shelter from the poor weather.

Mr Carver is described as a white man, about 5ft 9ins tall with white hair and wearing glasses.

It is thought he may be wearing slippers and a light-coloured, possibly blue, quilted-type gilet or waistcoat.

He has a large plaster on the right-hand side of his head.