Pierre Barnes: Fears for missing British boy on French island

 

Paris

Searches continued tonight for a 12-year-old British boy who disappeared during a bicycle ride in high winds on a tiny French Mediterranean island.

Special tracker dogs, launches, divers and a helicopter joined the search for Pierre Barnes, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, whose bicycle and a shoe were found on Sunday beside a coastal creek on the island of Porquerolles, near Toulon.

Pierre vanished during a bicycle ride in story conditions on Saturday. He had arrived a few hours earlier for a mid-term break with his British father, French mother and his brother and sister.

Eric Mayen, the police chief at Hyères on the French coast nearby, said all leads were being investigated, including the possibility of a criminal act. Searches would continue, he said, until the whole of the island, seven kilometres long by three kilometres wide, had been explored.

Even three days after his disappearance, the possibility existed that the boy could be found alive, Mr Mayen said. 

Simon Taylor, British consul in Marseille, said: “The parents have not given up hope but it’s very difficult for them.”

In an interview with local French television on Sunday, Pierre’s father, Stephen Barnes, 57, said: “I  am certain he went off on an adventure on his bicycle but in the forest all the little tracks look the same.”

“He is lost but he is a strong boy and I hope he found a place to sleep where there was not too much wind. It's difficult to say what you can do when you are cold and frightened.”

Three emergency service launches with divers aboard were searching the rocky coasts of the island tonight. A navy helicopter flew overhead. Soldiers, police and local volunteers searched on land, helped by dog teams.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 3/4 Teacher

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: "Where teaching is e...

Female PE Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Female PE Teacher Required - Hum...

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity Cover

£120 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 Teacher to cover maternity leav...

Foundation Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Foundation Teachers required fo...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York