Heartbreaking end to desperate search for eight-year-old boy as his body is found five days after he fell out of a kayak on a family holiday
- Search for eight-year-old in Western Australia’s south is now a recovery mission
- Boy had been camping with family and reported missing on Sunday morning
- He is believed to have drowned in a kayaking accident after venturing off alone
- A specialist robotic camera will be used to search for his body underwater
The body of a missing eight-year-old boy has been found in a desperate five-day search after he fell out of a kayak.
The boy had been camping with family at Fernhook Falls near Walpole, about 400km southeast of Perth.
Great Southern Superintendent Kim Travers released a statement on Sunday, saying the boy, named Sol, was found on Friday morning by police divers at Fernhook Falls.
The search for an eight-year-old boy believed to have been in a kayaking incident in a West Australian river (pictured) is now a recovery mission
A land search including 60 State Emergency Service volunteers (pictured) has been suspended
She explained the recovery operation was ‘complex’ and body was safely recovered on Sunday morning.
‘[The recovery] would not have been possible without the mutual trust and respect of the family who have remained on site throughout this recovery operation’.
‘The collaboration between Police, Department of Fire and Emergency Service, State Emergency Service, St John Ambulance, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and Fugro, who provided the technical expertise and specialist underwater equipment, made this recovery possible,’ she said.
He was reported missing from the campsite last Sunday morning, with police later saying he had been involved in a boating incident on the river.
A land search that spanned several days and involved more than 60 State Emergency Service volunteers has been suspended, and police are now focusing on recovering his body from the river.
Superintendent Travers earlier said the boy had ventured off alone near the top of the falls.
The land search lasted several days with police now focusing on recovering his body from the river
Police divers are searching various sections of the river (pictured). Drones have also been deployed due to low visibility
He had earlier told his older brother he wanted to paddle through foam on the surface of the water but was told it was too dangerous.
‘The brother has heard him call out for help and immediately rushed down the little track … but he couldn’t see his brother,’ Supt Travers said.
‘What he did see was the little blue plastic kayak lodged in the tree that his brother had (carried) across.’
A short time later, his father located the boy’s jumper jammed underneath a rock.
The family had been staying in a cabin at the Mount Frankland National Park and had been kayaking over the weekend without any issues.
Police say the boy’s brother heard him call out but was unable to locate him, only finding a kayak lodged in a tree
‘They are a loving, caring, very close-knit family. This is a significant trauma for them,’ Supt Travers said.
Police divers have searched sections of the river and a drone has also been deployed to search the water, with visibility low after heavy recent rainfall. A specialist robotic camera will also be deployed.
The search area spans about 200 metres and includes rapids.
The family had been staying at a cabin in Mount Frankland National Park and had been kayaking without issue over the weekend
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