Missing schoolboy Pierre Barnes is feared dead by his father as search teams continue to scour an island for a fourth day.
King’s School pupil Pierre, 12, disappeared on Saturday on the tiny island of Porquerolles in the south of France after going on a lone bike ride. His bike with derailed chain and one of his shoes were found on Sunday morning, around 3km from the holiday home rented by the family-of-six.
Today, his father Stephen, 57, said: “We fear for the worst, but we still hope for his survival. But clearly the more time passes the less hope we have.”
Pierre, who had been wearing a rugby shirt and dressing gown, went off alone on a bike ride just hours after the Barnes family, of Barrowby Road in Grantham, arrived on the picturesue island for a week-long, half-term holiday. Although Mr Barnes described the weather as calm when he left, a storm soon arrived, with gale-force winds battering the island.
Yesterday (Monday), search teams were boosted by the addition of divers and extra dogs. They are now searching the coastline, caves, lakes, ponds and pools.
Police in Porquerolles have said every inch of the island will be scoured by search dogs.
Mr Barnes, a property company director, said: “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.”
Pierre attends King’s School in Grantham, where he has studied for one term.
Headteacher Frank Hedley told the Journal yesterday: “All of King’s are very distressed by the news of Pierre’s disappearance.
“Pierre has only been at King’s for a term. He is a superb boy, very likeable and very popular with his peers.
“All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Barnes at this acutely distressing time for them.”
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