Five-year-old Oakley Stewart is reunited with mum Carly Sullivan and dad James Stewart yesterday.
Five-year-old Oakley Stewart is reunited with mum Carly Sullivan and dad James Stewart yesterday. DAVID NIELSEN

Missing child found safe

IT ALL could have ended so differently when little Oakley Stewart, 5, of Lismore, went missing while celebrating Father's Day with his family at Flat Rock, near Angels Beach.

Oakley was playing in rock pools with his parents and family friends when he went back to their belongings to get his bucket.

“A minute later I looked around and he was gone,” the boy's father, James Stewart, said.

The alarm was raised and within minutes everyone on the beach was looking for the child.

“There would have been 50 people on the beach looking for him,” Mr Stewart said.

Campers from a nearby camping ground had heard the boy was missing and came to the beach to help with the search.

His mother, Carly Sullivan, said the 30 minutes in which her son was missing were the worst in her life.

“I was just praying I would find him,” she said.

“I was crying.”

The Ballina Jet Rescue Boat was on its way to begin conducting a sea search when Oakley was spotted about 1km down the beach with a fisherman.

Mr Stewart said he could not describe the sense of relief when his son appeared.

Mr Stewart and Ms Sullivan wanted to thank everyone who helped look for Oakley.

“It was amazing how everyone pulled together,” Ms Sullivan said.



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