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Britain France Pierre Barnes Porquerolles Rescue Tourism Weather Wind

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Missing British boy Pierre's father fears the worst

Patrick Giraud/Creative Commons

Sniffer dogs and rescue workers resumed their search on Tuesday on the Mediterranean French island of Porquerolles, to try to find Pierre Barnes, the 12 year old Anglo-French boy who disappeared in gale force winds on Saturday.

Parts of his bicycle have been found scattered widely and it appears that he may have been a victim of the dangerous weather.

The bicycle and one of his shoes were found on the edge of a creek in the south west of the island.

“Our strategy is to explore every area of water, every lagoon on the island and to expand our land search to cover the whole of the island,” said Nathalie Bakhache, of the island Prefect’s office.

Pierre’s father, Stephen Barnes told reporters “We fear for the worst.” “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,” he added.

Barnes heaped praise on the rescue effort telling French journalists “It makes me realise that you French are a very special people, thank you very much indeed.”

Many islanders have joined in the search, such as Isabelle Clément, who runs a bike hire shop on Porquerolles. As well as scouring the island before opening up her shop yesterday, she is also telling holidaymakers how to help.

“If you see anything, an item of clothing or something else, above all, do not touch it, ring this number” she told some tourists from Quebec, while advising them to avoid cycling near the main areas of search.

The Barnes family had just arrived on the island for a holiday, when Pierre set off on a bike ride at around 6 o’clock on Saturday evening, in 130 km/h winds.

He was wearing black jeans, black trainers and a striped rugby shirt.

His mother is French but it was his first visit to Porquerolles as the family usually holiday on the French islands around Brittany.