Fernhook Falls search: Hunt for missing eight-year-old boy enters third day
The search for an eight-year-old boy who is believed to have fallen out of a boat during a family camping trip in the South West on Sunday has resumed this morning.
The missing child, who is from the Great Southern region, had been with his family at Fernhook Falls, about 35km north of Walpole, before he was reported missing at about 9am.
Great Southern Superintendent Kim Travers said yesterday the boy had been involved in a boating incident during the camping trip at the well-known spot, which is known for its fast-flowing creeks and rivers.
Local police, about 60 State Emergency Services volunteers, police divers, a drone and police air-wing have been frantically searching the Mount Frankland National Park since, but their efforts have been hampered by dense bush and fast-flowing creeks and waters.
Phone reception in the area is also limited, adding to the difficulty of the search.
On Monday, Supt Travers said the incident was still being treated as a search and rescue mission and police were making the necessary risk assessments to safely continue the search.
“We have got no plans at this stage at all other than to continue the search,” she said.
Supt Travers said the boy’s family, from the Great Southern region, were familiar with the area, which was a common spot for them to camp.
“They are from the regions so they know this area,” she said.
“The family are with friends… they went on a camping weekend, it is the last weekend before school starts again.”
She said the family of the boy were on edge.
“The family are shocked ... they are anxious and wanting us to find their boy,” she said. “They have a great deal of support here and they have other family that will join them shortly.”
Supt Travers said authorities had been overwhelmed by the number of community members offering to assist police in their search efforts but she said: “The call from police is that we have enough resources.”
Premier Mark McGowan this morning spoke of the desperate search.
“It's just very sad. I wish them all the very best in finding the little boy and obviously everyone’s thoughts go to the family,” he said.
Fernhook Falls is one of two waterfalls that form part of the 120km Deep River.
The camp site is within the national park, which is a popular spot promoted as a hotspot for canoeing, kayaking and bushwalks through woodland, particularly from April to November.
The site has two camping huts and eight tent sites for visitors.
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