A BOY who has been the subject of a massive land and air search at Wallu, near Tin Can Bay, has just been found safe and well, delighted police confirm.
"Literally only seconds ago," a police officer confirmed.
The boy is believed to have turned up at home after spending the day with his dogs in an area of bush at the rear of his parent's home, at the corner of Tin Can Bay Rd and Rainbow Beach Rd.
Totally oblivious to the increasingly desperate search effort underway by police and volunteers on foot, horseback, motorcycles and helicopters, the boy and his two canine companions arrived at his parents' back door about 6.15pm
5:00 PM SES, helicopters join search for missing boy in bush
Eighteen State Emergency Service volunteers have joined the search for a missing five-year-old boy in heavy bushland at Wallu, near Tin Can Bay.
The Gympie Times understands that authorities are investigating reports that footprints, possibly belonging to dogs and a boy, had been found by searchers.
Helicopter vision of the area shows the difficulty facing searchers.
The area is swampy in parts with some creeks and waterways.
A spokesman for the Mia Mia Bed and Breakfast resort at Wallu said police had been searching the area all day, with horses, trail bikes and helicopters.
"The helicopters are in the air all the time.
"We were searching too earlier today, looking over our properties here, but we couldn't find anything."
We first realised what was going on when the helicopters arrived about 11am or 11.30am," he said.
The RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was among those who joined the search.
The Sunshine Coast RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was tasked to conduct an aerial search in the Rainbow Beach area at midday.
Later, police were last heard to be following footprints into a creek area.
They had requested mosquito repellent after entering the area.
Police had not released the boy's name but those searching were calling out "Harley".
While the search was initially said to be around Rainbow Beach, police media later issued a correction, saying they had incorrectly advised the area.
It is in fact off Rainbow Beach Road near the intersection of Tin Can Bay Road at Wallu.
Earlier: Police are searching for a five-year-old boy who has gone missing in bushland.
The boy was last seen at around 10.30am, and is believed to have followed two dogs into the bush, near his home on Rainbow Beach Road.
The boy is described as being tanned, with dark brown curly hair. He was last seen wearing a green t-shirt and black or blue shorts.
One of the dogs is a ridgeback and the other is a puppy.
Police have set up a forward command post on Rainbow Beach Road. Officers on trail bikes are currently searching the area, along with dog squad and several officers on foot from nearby stations.
Just after 2.30pm, police were liaising with Toolara Forestry staff as part of the search effort.
Forestry workers were said to be heading out to help the search effort which could extend as far as the Goomboorian store, a long way from the initial search area.
Staff at the local Foodworks store said they had not heard anything about the boy's disappearance when contacted by the Gympie Times on Thursday afternoon.
"It's the first we've heard of it.
"We've heard nothing.''
They planned to get the word around and offer any assistance they could to those searching and police.
Anyone who may have seen the boy is urged to contact police.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
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