THE heartbroken partner of a firefighter who was found dead in a river has called for better safety fencing in the area where he went missing.

Anthony Knott, 33, disappeared after a night out in Lewes on December 20.

A major search operation was launched to find the father-of-four from Orpington in Kent.

Sadly his body was found in the River Ouse on Friday at Denton Island, Newhaven, about eight miles from where he was last seen.

His devastated fiancée Lucy Otto has backed a petition to put in better safety barriers.

The campaign, on the site, was launched by Claire Packham to East Sussex County Council.

It calls for a fence to be put around the River Ouse “to stop people falling in and accidents not only people but animals too and most importantly deaths”.

Ms Otto added her name to the petition and asked others to share it.

She wrote: “Please sign, this river is dangerous and completely open.

“No one should have to go through the pain we are, this river needs a safety fence to stop this ever happening again.

“The walkways along the river that are accessible to the public need a safety barrier.”

Earlier she paid tribute to her partner on Facebook, writing.

“I love you, I always have and I always will,” she wrote.

“Sleep tight my hero.”

During the search she released pictures of Anthony and pleaded with people to share her post in the hope someone may have seen him.

Anthony was with a group of friends at The Lamb pub in Fisher Street, Lewes, when he left alone at about 7.16pm.

CCTV stills showed the dad-of-four walking outside while dressed in a jumper, jeans and dark jacket.

His family confirmed a sighting of him walking up Market Street – back towards The Lamb - at 7.41pm.

It was 20 minutes after his phone had been switched off, according to the time captured on the CCTV image.

Specialist teams carried out extensive searches of the area surrounding the pub and the Pells Pool area, which had been severely affected by flood water in the days before Anthony went missing.

A member of the public found Anthony’s body on Friday.

Detective Inspector Mark Rosser said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Anthony at this difficult time.

“We too are saddened by this update and would ask the public and media to respect the families’ privacy at this time.”