French search for missing schoolboy Pierre Barnes is scaled back
Wednesday 31 October 2012
The search for a British schoolboy who disappeared on a holiday island off the south of France has been scaled down.
Pierre Barnes, 12, vanished on Saturday after he was caught up in a severe storm during a bike ride on the island of Porquerolles, near Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast.
His father Stephen, 57, has admitted he believed his son is dead and said his family could now only hope that the youngster's body is found.
Mr Barnes, a property developer from Grantham, Lincolnshire, said: "In truth, we are just hoping to find a body now.
"As soon as they do, they will alert us, but there is nothing else that, as a family, we can do now."
During a press conference held yesterday, Mr Barnes said the search operation would be halted today as another storm is expected.
"There is no hope of finding Pierre alive and the urgency of finding a body is much less imperative," he added. "They are planning to carry on when the storm has passed, but it will be at a slower pace and with few people."
French authorities in charge of the investigation insisted that inquiries would continue.
More than 150 local volunteers joined the search to find Pierre and the day after he disappeared rescuers found one of his shoes on a coastal path, alongside his bike with its chain off.
He had disappeared just hours after arriving on the island for a half-term holiday with his family.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm that a British national has been reported missing in France.
"We are in touch with the French authorities and we are providing consular assistance."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...