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Hugo Palmer: Australian police scale back search for missing Briton | World News

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Police in Australia are scaling back the search for a British tourist and his friend who went missing from a popular beach north of Sydney.

Officers said they were reducing the air and sea search for 20-year-old Hugo Palmer and Frenchman Erwan Ferrieux, also 20, more than two days after their belongings were found by early morning walkers at Shelley Beach in New South Wales on Monday.

Police later discovered their rental car in the beach’s car park with several personal items inside, including travel documents.

It is not known how long Hugo had been in Australia
Image:
Mr Palmer arrived in Australia in November

Emergency services – including police divers – have been trying to find the pair but there has been no sign of the men.

A New South Wales Police spokesman said: “Based on advice from experts, police have scaled back the air and sea search, but sweeps of the coastline and foreshore will continue over the coming days.”

Mr Palmer, from East Grinstead in East Sussex, and Mr Ferrieux arrived in Australia in November and have been in the Port Macquarie area since Sunday.

Erwan Ferrieux has dark hair, brown eyes, a tanned complexion and is between 175-180cm tall
Image:
Mr Palmer and Mr Ferrieux, pictured, have been in the Port Macquarie area since Sunday

Inspector Peter Neville said he was still hopeful of finding the pair alive.

He told the Port Macquarie News: “This whole operation is about locating and rescuing these young men.

“From some of the discussions I’ve had this morning we honestly believe these people could well be alive.

“At the moment this is strictly a rescue mission.”

He said two of the men’s friends, who were in Sydney when they disappeared, had travelled to Port Macquarie to support the search effort.

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