A 13-year-old boy reported missing in the early hours of yesterday morning turned up at home while a multi-agency air, land and river search for him was ongoing nearby.
The teenager may have left his home in Shannon, Co Clare as early as 3.30am yesterday and was reported missing by his family when they contacted gardaí at 8.20am.
While all the circumstances are not known, it’s believed the boy was spotted earlier in the morning close to the Shannon Estuary at Drumgeely Point where a Polish man, concerned for the boy’s safety, sent him away from the shoreline.
Gardaí commenced a search of woodlands and the shoreline initially while additional services were requested.
The Shannon based search and rescue helicopter had less than a kilometre to travel to reach the scene and hovered overhead searching the shoreline.
The search was concentrated around the Tullyglass Point, Illaunamanagh and Drumgeely Point areas on the north shore of the River Shannon.
Three units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon were mobilised to search the boggy and muddy shoreline while a further three units from Ennis fire service also attended the incident including it’s SwiftWater Rescue Team (SRT) specially trained in water based search and rescues.
The Kilkee and Killaloe units of the Irish Coast Guard were also requested to assist along with volunteers from Limerick Search and Rescue Service.
Search teams had to deal with dangerous underfoot conditions on the shoreline but found no trace of the boy.
At around 10.20am the search was called off after it was confirmed the teenager had turned up at home.
A garda spokesman said: “We got a report of a missing boy at around 8.20am and our members went to the area near his home and searched woodlands and fields. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter joined us a short time later and began to search the shoreline.”
“Other Coast Guard units and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue also assisted while other resources were on the way. The boy arrived home later safe and well,” he added.
Last October, in almost identical circumstances and in the same area, a teenage girl was found missing during another extensive multi-agency search operation.
The 15-year-old was reported missing at around 11:45pm after she failed to return home after a night out with friends.
Although missing for several hours, within minutes of arriving in the area the helicopter identified a heat source in a densely wooded area and ground crews located the teenager safe and well.