The body of an eight-year-old boy has been recovered by police after a desperate search was sparked when the child fell out of a kayak.
The boy had been camping with family at Fernhook Falls near Walpole, about 400km southeast of Perth.
Great Southern Superintendent Kim Travers released a statement on Sunday, saying the boy, named Sol, was found on Friday morning by police divers at Fernhook Falls, reports The West Australian.
She explained the recovery operation was ‘complex’ and body was safely recovered on Sunday morning.
‘[The operation] would not have been possible without the mutual trust and respect of the family who have remained on site throughout this recovery operation’.
He was reported missing from the campsite on Sunday morning, with police later saying he had been involved in a boating incident on the river.
A land search that spanned several days and involved more than 60 State Emergency Service volunteers has been suspended, and police are now focusing on recovering his body from the river.
Superintendent Kim Travers said the boy had ventured off alone near the top of the falls on Sunday morning.
He had earlier told his older brother he wanted to paddle through foam on the surface of the water but was told it was too dangerous.
‘The brother has heard him call out for help and immediately rushed down the little track … but he couldn’t see his brother,’ Supt Travers said.
‘What he did see was the little blue plastic kayak lodged in the tree that his brother had (carried) across.’
A short time later, his father located the boy’s jumper jammed underneath a rock.
The family had been staying in a cabin at the Mount Frankland National Park and had been kayaking over the weekend without any issues.
‘They are a loving, caring, very close-knit family. This is a significant trauma for them,’ Supt Travers said.
Police divers have searched sections of the river and a drone has also been deployed to search the water, with visibility low after heavy recent rainfall. A specialist robotic camera will also be deployed.
The search area spans about 200 metres and includes rapids.