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Police divers find missing boy’s body

March 18, 2013
 Police divers found the body this morning of a 13-year-old boy who went missing in waters off a Mindarie beach. Picture: Kerris Berrington Source: PerthNow

Police divers found the body this morning of a 13-year-old boy who went missing in waters off a Mindarie beach. Picture: Kerris Berrington Source: PerthNow

Police divers have found the body of a 13-year-old boy who disappeared in the surf off a Mindarie beach, in Perth’s northern suburbs late yesterday.

The boy’s body was recovered from the water by water police and divers about 11.40am today. His body will be taken to Fremantle Hospital and the family advised.

The Clarkson boy’s family raised the alarm at around 4.30pm yesterday and since then three helicopters have been in the air searching for the missing teenager.

The boy went missing while swimming at Claytons Beach just south of Mindarie Marina around 4.30pm yesterday.

It is believed the boy, Jenon Biwot, who moved with his family from Uganda to Perth in 2010 and was not a strong swimmer, disappeared and was swept out to sea after being caught in a rip.

His friend managed to get to shore and alerted authorities.

Jenon’s family returned to the beach this morning to watch on as rescuers searched for any sign of the youngster.

His family is originally from South Sudan, arriving in Perth from a refugee camp in Uganda, where Jenon was reportedly born.

The boy’s distressed father, Materno Biwot, told ABC radio this morning the news had hit the family hard.

“When we got the news we were really devastated,” he said.

“My family was family was really shattered because of this news, and the night was not very short for us the night had been too long.”

Mr Biwot said his son was not a strong swimmer and he did not want him to go swimming at an unpatrolled beach.

He said his son came from a part of Uganda where he did not have the chance to learn to swim as a young boy.

Water Police Sergeant Peter Trivett said: “We do have land police with the SES volunteers doing a land-based search covering the rock wall and down along the beach just in case.

“And we’ll continue to really smash that area with resources until we get a result.”

Water police are leading the search, assisted by Surf Life Saving, volunteer marine rescue, State Emergency Service and the police air wing unit.

Twenty one SES volunteers from Wanneroo/Joondalup, Stirling and Northshore SES units along with the Regional Operations Support Section are assisting Police with the land search.

Teams will search up to 10km of coastline north from Mindarie Marina and are expected to remain in the area until the boy is found or until nightfall.

A crew from Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group and the Rescue 65 helicopter also supported with sea search efforts yesterday evening.

The WA police helicopter, the Surf Life Saving aircraft and the shark spotting chopper were all in the air late yesterday.

The search was called off when it became too dark last night, but resumed first thing this morning.

The beach is becoming notorious among locals, after a 47-year-old British tourist died when he got caught in a rip in the same area in January.


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