Belfast Telegraph

Family's hopes of finding missing man alive fading

The family of a missing man say they have almost given up hope he will be found alive after he went missing in a country park.

James Frew (63) was last seen in Limavady on Saturday afternoon but fears for his safety were sparked when his coat, wallet and walking stick were discovered in Roe Valley Country park.

A massive search for Mr Frew involving police, Bann River Rescue, specialist divers and local volunteers has so far failed to locate him.

Daughter Tammie Frew said: “So many people have come to help and it is making a big difference to us but we are not expecting to find daddy alive now.

“We can only hope for a miracle at this stage.”

His dog, which had been tethered to a post, was also discovered.

Spearheading the search for Mr Frew alongside the PSNI teams is Sean McCleary from Bann River Rescue, who described the difficulties facing his searchers.

He said: “The River Roe has some very fast flowing parts and there are also some deep holes but our team has rapid water specialists trained for this type of water.

“While our priority is to help locate Mr Frew, we have to ensure the safety of our volunteers too.

“While the cold and the rain is hampering things, we can cope with that and we will not give up. We have two teams here at present and more on standby.

“We are concentrating our search along the river bank and the actual water, but as time goes by, obviously our chances of finding Mr Frew alive decrease.

“Not that long ago a woman who was missing in Donegal for a week was found alive but we do feel for any family whose loved one is missing and it is especially tough at this time of the year.”

Mr Frew’s family are continuing to help in the search for him, drawing strength from their friends, neighbours and strangers who have turned out in large numbers to help.

“Daddy was well known in the town and lots of people know my sister and brother too and even people calling to say they are thinking about us helps,” said Tammie.

“It’s not just us, there’s the grandchildren too and even deciding what to tell them is hard.

“You try and protect them so we are being careful about what we say to them.

“We appreciate everything that is being done by the rescue teams, the divers, the police and the volunteers and would like to thank them. Their support has been overwhelming.”

Police in Limavady have asked anyone who saw Mr Frew on Saturday to contact them.

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