Scotland

River Tay teenager Mateusz Wilamowski 'unlikely to be alive'

  • 30 July 2013
  • From the section Scotland
Mateusz Wilamowski
Image caption Extensive searches have so far found no trace of trace Mr Wilamowski

It is "very unlikely" that a 16-year-old boy swept away as he crossed the River Tay at Perth is still alive, police have said.

The search for Mateusz Wilamowski has been continuing for a third day.

The teenager was with friends when he got into difficulty at North Muirton on Sunday evening.

A search of the riverbanks, islands and a three-mile stretch of the river itself, focused around high tides, has been taking place.

A 30-strong rescue team searched the area for the second time on Monday, but found no trace of the 16-year-old.

Tuesday's search was significantly smaller, with only three kayaks and one river raft on the water.

The team's focus is a 5km (3.1m) stretch of water from Scone Palace to the city's Friarton Bridge.

Sites known to wash up "finds" will also be searched and Aquascopes will be used to search the riverbed.

'Tragic accident'

Det Sgt Colin MacDougall , eader of Police Scotland's Tayside mountain rescue team, said: "The tide is going out so that gives us a better chance of actually having a find and we can bring this to a close, particularly for the family.

"It's very unlikely he's alive. As I say, we're looking to bring closure for the family."

Mr MacDougall added: "The section of river being searched is tidal so the team is dealing with an environment which constantly changes.

"He could be further away but the River Tay is running quite low just now so there's every chance that he's still within this area, and that's what we're trying to bring to a conclusion."

Mr Wilamowski, who has lived locally with relatives since arriving from Poland in May, had been with two friends in the water near the Woody Islands when he went missing.

Police have warned about the dangers of entering rivers to cool off during the recent hot weather.

Mr MacDougall said: "I can see how it would be attractive to young people, thinking they could swim that river, but unfortunately in this case it looks like we've had a very tragic accident."

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