Divers searching river for missing Irish football fan

Divers searching river for missing Irish football fan

WARSAW - Agence France-Presse
Divers searching river for missing Irish football fan

Supporters of the Irish team watch the Group C match of the Euro 2012 football championships between Italy and Ireland at the Fan Zone in Poznan, Poland. EPA Photo

Police in central Poland have drafted in more than 100 officers and specialist divers to hunt for an Irish football fan who has not been seen for more than 48 hours, a spokesman said yesterday.

James Nolan was reported missing on Sunday afternoon when he failed to return to his hotel after breaking off from a group of friends during a night out watching football and drinking in a pub in Bydgoszcz city center.

Police spokesman Maciej Daszkiewicz told AFP that the 21-year-old’s mobile phone was switched off, while media reports from Ireland quoted his family as saying his disappearance was out of character.

“We have firefighters helping with a specialized robot for underwater probes. And there are also scuba divers,” said Daszkiewicz. “Right now we’re searching the forest near their hotel, we’re conducting underwater probes along the edge of the old market and its surroundings.”

Nolan was last seen at about 2:00 am on Sunday when the group decided to head back to the hotel.
But the friends realised that Nolan was missing when they returned.

“The search is ongoing. Yesterday (Monday), over 100 police officers took part. We checked attics, houses, cellars, rundown buildings in the old town area here in Bydgoszcz,” she added.

Police are also looking at security camera footage from the restaurants and clubs in the area.

At the time he went missing, Nolan was wearing blue jeans, trainers and a white tee-shirt with the name of US martial artist and actor Chuck Norris on it, Bydgoszcz police said on its website.

Daszkiewicz said that no football-related violence has been reported in the Bydgoszcz region since Euro 2012 kicked off on June 8.

Thousands of Irish football fans have flooded into Poland for the 16-nation, quadrennial tournament, which ends in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1.