Developing

Missing Pierre: Dad Fears Son Lost Forever

The father of missing 12-year-old Pierre Barnes has told Sky News a "perfect storm" of events means his son is unlikely to be found alive.

Stephen Barnes, a father-of-four, also confirmed the search for his son will be scaled back in the coming days.

"Today, the weather is appalling just like it was the night Pierre disappeared, so the authorities have suspended their search," said Mr Barnes.

"They'll start looking again on Thursday but the number of people will be scaled back," he added.

The Prefect of the Var region of France last night declared search teams had scoured most of the island of Porquerolles but said they had been "let down".

Mr Barnes, his French wife and children arrived on the small Mediterranean island on Saturday for a week's holiday.

Just a few hours later, before dark, 12-year-old Pierre took a short cycle ride and has not been seen since.

Shortly after the alarm was raised, the youngster's bike was discovered along with his shoe, which was lying nearby.

"We came to this island because we thought it would be a safe place for the children, but it didn't turn out that way," said Mr Barnes.

"Events on their own like the terrible storm and Pierre's bike breaking down wouldn't have caused a problem, but they happened all at once."

Torrential weather along the southern coast of France has interrupted the search effort on the two-and-a-half mile long island.

"We are having to face the prospect that Pierre will not be found alive," said Mr Barnes. "I accept that when I talk about him, I do so in the past tense."