Search called off for missing Ironman entrant

Police divers‚ rescue dogs and the helicopter spent most of Tuesday searching the Port Elizabeth harbour for the missing Frenchman who was in the city to compete in the Ironman‚ HeradLIVE has confirmed.

17 April 2018 The search for the missing French Ironman athlete focused on the harbour on Tuesday after cctv footage showed a man matching his description in the harbour.
Picture Eugene Coetzee/The Herald

CCTV emerged of David Bellet-Brissaud‚ 48‚ walking into the harbour via the Baakens Road entrance at about 1.10am on Friday morning.

By late Tuesday morning‚ and again in the afternoon‚ the police helicopter was doing an aerial search around the harbour while the K9 unit was deployed to assist.

Bellet-Brissaud went missing from the Paxton Hotel on the beachfront – across the road from the harbour – shortly after 1am on Friday morning.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that divers had been sent into the water after video footage showed him entering a wharf within the harbour. The footage shows him jumping between three chokka boats docked alongside each other.

Picture Eugene Coetzee/The Herald

Police and security officials had also searched all three chokka boats this afternoon.

By 1pm‚ the police divers were deployed to search underneath‚ and next to‚ the chokka boats which were berthed at the wharf.

At about 2:30pm‚ the K9 search teams‚ and police officials‚ moved to the dolosse on the side of the harbour wall.

Naidu confirmed that CCTV footage of Bellet-Brissaud had been attained and showed him entering‚ but not leaving‚ a wharf on the harbour.

“We are searching the area and to date he has not been found‚” she said.

The search was called off and would resume on Wednesday.

By: Gareth Wilson

Source: TMG Digital.

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