1. ITV Report

Search for missing British and French tourists in Australia after belongings found on beach

British tourist Hugo Palmer (left) is missing in Australia, along with his French friend Erwan Ferrieux. Credit: NSW Police

A British tourist has gone missing from a popular beach in Australia alongside his French companion.

Police have launched a search for 20-year-old Englishman Hugo Palmer and his friend Erwan Ferrieux, also 20, after items belonging to the pair - including car keys, towels and sunglasses - were discovered at Shelly Beach, on the New South Wales coast north of Sydney.

Searches continue for the missing pair. Credit: AuBC/APTN

Walkers found their belongings at about 6.30am on Monday, and police later discovered their rental car in the beach’s car park with a number of personal items, including travel documents, inside.

New South Wales Police said a water and ground search had been commenced, but there had not yet been any sign of the pair.

Searches take place at sea where conditions were described as 'terrible'. Credit: AuBC/APTN

Inspector Michael Aldridge told the Port Macquarie News that the two men had arrived in the area on Sunday morning.

“We believe from information provided so far that the items may have been there since Sunday evening as well,” he said.

He described the surf conditions as “terrible” and "rough" over the past few days.

Inspector Michael Aldridge said sea conditions were 'not suitable for swimming'. Credit: AuBC/APTN

"The conditions were definitely not suitable for swimming to any degree," Insp Aldridge added.

"So, we're unsure the whereabouts of these two males, we're not sure what's happened to them and we're concerned."

There are fears the pair have been missing since Sunday evening. Credit: AuBC/APTN

Police have not disclosed how long Mr Palmer, reported to be from East Sussex, and Mr Ferrieux had been in Australia.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “Our staff are in contact with police in Australia and the UK following reports of a missing British man at Shelly beach, New South Wales.”