In Brief

Hugo Palmer: what happened to British tourist missing in Australia?

Search under way after belongings of two lost backpackers found on beach near Sydney

Australian police have launched a search for two missing young backpackers after their belongings were found at a beach in New South Wales. 

Hugo Palmer, from East Sussex, and his French friend Erwan Ferrieux, both 20, are believed to have been swimming or surfing at Shelly Beach, north of Sydney, on Sunday.

Walkers found items belonging to the pair at around 6.30am on Monday, and police later discovered their rental car nearby, the BBC reports. 

Local authorities confirmed that a water and ground search is under way.

Inspector Michael Aldridge said: “From the information that we have received, they were travelling down the east coast, stopping at various locations along the way.

“We believe from information provided so far that the items may have been there since Sunday evening as well.”

Aldridge added that the surf conditions had been “terrible” in recent days.

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said: “Our staff are in contact with police in Australia and the UK following reports of a missing British man at Shelly beach, New South Wales.”

Palmer is described as having fair hair, an athletic build and is 180cm (5ft 11in) tall, while Ferrieux has dark hair, brown eyes, a tanned complexion and is between 175cm (5ft 9in) and 180cm tall, says Australian site News.com.au

Police are appealing to the public to come forward with any information that might help locate the two missing men.

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