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Australian police have hope of finding British tourist and friend alive

A search has been ongoing since Monday.

British tourist Hugo Palmer is missing in Australia (NSW Police/PA)
British tourist Hugo Palmer is missing in Australia (NSW Police/PA)

Police searching for a British tourist and his friend missing from a beach in Australia say they still have hope of finding the two men alive.

A rescue operation was launched on Monday after items belonging to 20-year-old Englishman Hugo Palmer and his friend Erwan Ferrieux, also 20, were discovered at Shelly Beach, near Port Macquarie on the New South Wales coast north of Sydney.

Walkers found their belongings at about 6.30am (7.30pm GMT Sunday), and police later discovered their rental car in the beach’s car park with a number of personal items, including travel documents, inside.

A water and ground search was launched, but there has not yet been any sign of the pair.

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Erwan Ferrieux has gone missing alongside Hugo Palmer (New South Wales Police/PA)

On Wednesday morning, Inspector Peter Neville, of New South Wales Police, said divers were involved in the mission, while surrounding bush land and cliffs were also being scoured.

“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,” he told the Port Macquarie News.

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

A search has resumed for two men missing at Shelley Beach near Port Macquarie. Items of property belonging to a...

Posted by NSW Police Force on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Mr Neville said two of the men’s friends, who were in Sydney at the time of their disappearance but were due to meet up with them, had travelled to Port Macquarie to support the search.

It is believed Mr Palmer, from East Grinstead, East Sussex, and Mr Ferrieux, a French national, had arrived in Australia in November.

The Foreign Office said staff were in contact with police in Australia and the UK.

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