Fears for two backpackers missing from NSW north coast beach

| 19.02,19. 07:37 PM |

Fears for two backpackers missing from NSW north coast beach

Photo: A search yesterday afternoon failed to find Erwan Ferrieux and Hugo Palmer. (Instagram: Supplied)

An air, water and land search is continuing for two young European tourists missing since Sunday at Shelly Beach, near Port Macquarie.

Items belonging to Englishman Hugo Palmer and his French companion Erwan Ferrieux were found on the mid north coast beach, and police were notified on Monday morning.

"Around 11:26pm on Sunday, items belonging to the 20 and 21-year-old were found on the beach, which included towels, sunglasses and car keys," Chief Inspector Mick Aldridge said.

A search of their hire car in the beach carpark found personal items but a search yesterday afternoon failed to find the pair.

"We have no idea where they are at the moment," the Chief Inspector said.

"What was alarming to us was the personal items that were found are items that would normally be on their persons or within their control at most times.

"We're unsure about the whereabouts of these two males, we're not sure what's happened to them and we're concerned."

Inquiries identified their rental car — a silver Commodore station wagon with Qld registration plates 141-YML — in the Shelly Beach carpark.

'They were just backpacking'

Chief Inspector Aldridge said the operation was not in recovery mode.

"It's still a search for those two boys and hopefully we can locate them somewhere," he said.

"For the British national, we've been able to contact family and inform them of what's going on, and obviously ask them that if they have any contact with them through social media or any other means to contact us straight away.

"At the moment we're speaking to the French embassy in relation to the French national.

"It appears they were just backpacking. From the information that we have received, they were travelling down the east coast, stopping at various locations along the way."

Police said surf conditions have been rough and not suitable for swimming, and nearby Town Beach was closed this morning after a sighting of more than 20 bull sharks.

Mr Palmer is described as being of Caucasian appearance, with fair hair, 180 centimetres tall and of athletic build.

Mr Ferrieux has dark hair, brown eyes, a tanned complexion and is between 175-180cm tall.


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