A search has resumed this morning for missing schoolboy Lucas Dobson, who has not been seen since he was swept away in the River Stour on Saturday.
Lucas, six, was on a fishing trip with his dad Nathan and friends when he fell into the water while trying to board a boat.
Friends say the family are "going through hell", with hundreds of volunteers helping in frantic efforts to find him.
Nathan and two friends leapt into the water in a bid to save Lucas, but the current was too strong.
Volunteers and staff from six forces including HM Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue, Kent Fire and Rescue, Kent Police, the Red Cross, and Specialist Group International all continue to help the search.
Leading the diving operation, Specialist Group International boss Peter Faulding refuted reports the search had been scaled down.
Speaking from the search boat, Peter said: “The search has not been scaled back.
“This is a massive operation and team effort involving multiple emergency services units.
"We are working full out, everyone is pulling the stops out to find this little boy.
“We have people on canoes searching the reeds and divers scouring the river.
“The search is very challenging because divers are up against strong tides, reeds and a muddy river bed.”
A sonar team is now scanning the water with a diver poised to investigate any “anomalies” in the riverbed.
Peter said support from the boy’s family and local volunteers has been “unbelievable.”
He added: “I would like to thank the family and the volunteers for all their support.
"They are so important in a search like this. The boy’s family have been bringing us food and drinks.
“I have been blown away. It really is incredible.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service said as the search went into its third day: "Specialist and experienced search and rescue teams have resumed the search for 6-year-old Lucas Dobson this morning.
"Members of the public helping to search are asked to respect the property of others. To report anything related to the search to the police, please call 101 quoting 17-766."
On Sunday, Terry Walton, 37, a friend of Nathan Dobson, broke down in tears when talking about the situation.
The maintenance worker, from Deal, said: "Nathan is a mate of mine.
"Lucas was always round at his whenever I went there. He is a lovely little lad.
"Nathan was really in a bad way on Saturday I think. I wasn't even allowed to see him.
"The family are going through hell. They really are."
And Josh Phillips, 18, a friend of Lucas's aunt Maciee, said: "I was with the family yesterday. They're just worried and are keeping strong.
"He's a funny, bubbly boy. I hope he gets found. There's always hope."
Supt Amanda Tillotson said: "Firstly, I'd like to say that my thoughts go out to the family of Lucas, this is an awful, tragic incident that obviously we will work hard to bring a quick resolution and find Lucas as quickly as we can for the family.
"Obviously as time has gone on now I think it is unlikely, unfortunately.
"But, we will continue to search and obviously I would like to have a positive outcome, I would like to find Lucas, we are getting increasingly concerned with the amount of time that is going on now.
"But it is really important that we continue to search for Lucas and continue to do that for the family, and my heart goes out to them, it really does."
Lucas’ aunt Maciee Stanford, 18, said: “He was with his dad and his dad’s friends along with other children.
“The incident happened because our Lucas was on the jetty and tried to step from there onto the boat but he fell in between the jetty and the boat (small gap).
“As soon as he fell the three adults jumped in after but the current was too strong he had already gone in the short amount of time he could not be found. The current was so strong the three men could barely swim in it.
“They fish and do this regularly as it is behind one of the men’s house all the children play together here.”