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French rescue workers continue search for missing British boy

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-10-30

Rescue workers continued to search the southern French island of Porquerolles on Tuesday for a 12-year-old British boy who disappeared over the weekend while riding his bike during strong winds. The boy’s shoes and bicycle were found near a creek.

Rescue workers continued to scour the southern French island of Porquerolles on Tuesday for a 12-year-old British boy who disappeared over the weekend while riding his bike during a windstorm.

The boy, Pierre Barnes, had just arrived on the small Mediterranean island with his English father, French mother and his two brothers and sisters when he took his bicycle out for a ride on Saturday as the winds barreled at 130 kilometres (80 miles) an hour, officials said.

The bike and a boy's shoe were found by a creek.

"We fear for the worst, but we still hope for his survival. But clearly the more time passes the less hope we have," the boy’s father, Stephen Barnes told reporters on Monday. "The only hope would be that he has moved to an hypothermic state and can survive several days, so we want the search to continue as long as possible to have the best chances to find him alive."

"I just hope we will find Pierre alive or his body. The worst thing is not to know and to be left weeks without knowing the outcome," Barnes added.

Search dogs, police and at least 63 civil military personnel continued to comb the island on Tuesday while divers searched the surrounding waters for any traces of the boy.

“The strategy is to explore every single body of water, every lagoon on the island and to expand search efforts on land until we’ve covered every inch of the island,” said Nathalie Bakhache, chief of staff at the local police station.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2012-10-29

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