Boy’s body found off Porquerolles

Pierre’s body was found in the sea off Porquerolles

The body of Franco-British boy Pierre Barnes has been found at sea, after he went missing last weekend

A BODY found in the sea off the island of Porquerolles has been identified as that of missing Franco-British boy Pierre Barnes.

The Toulon public prosecutor’s office has said that the appearance and clothing matches that of Pierre, 12, who went missing on Saturday after going for a bike ride on the island in stormy weather last week. Just his bike and a shoe were found on a coastal path.

People diving from a yacht near the Anse de Langoustier, on the southern side of the island, gave the alert. Pompiers were dispatched to retrieve the body, which was not far from the path where the bike was found, and a lifeboat brought the boy’s body ashore. An autopsy is to be held.

Searches were called off by the end of Tuesday because of bad weather forecast for Wednesday, after “hundreds” of people are said to have been mobilised over several days, including a life boat, pompiers, divers, officials from the Port-Cros national park, local volunteers and 10 sniffer dogs with handlers.

Officials said they thought an accident was the most likely explanation.

Police said Pierre was probably going to the Gorges du Loup, a site on the island his father had been to earlier in the day with two of his siblings.

The family, from Lincolnshire, were staying on Porquerolles for the half-term holiday, when Pierre took his bike out while a strong Mistral wind was blowing. His father is British and mother French. They have two daughters and another son.

Mr Barnes has said they thought Pierre was just biking near the house and that when he set off the weather was fine.

Previous story: Boy, 12, missing as 3 die in storms

Photo: Prométhée33 Wikimedia Commons

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