The hunt for Jamie Cannon has drawn the attention of search and rescue specialists from over the Irish Sea.

A specialist team of five Search and Rescue dogs and their eight handlers have lent their support in the hunt for the 19-year-old who disappeared from his home in May.

Familiar with aiding the Coastguard in rescuing vulnerable and missing persons, the highly-trained 'victim recovery' dogs, were used to search the ICI plant in Stevenston on Sunday and Monday for clues of the missing Saltcoats teenager last weekend.

Ryan Gray, who organises K9 Search and Rescue NI, spoke to the Herald about the search: "We were joined by our Scottish colleagues K9 Search and Recovery Scotland, there were six of us, four dogs and two guys from Scotland, with one of their dogs.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

"We've been following the case, it is quite a high profile case in Northern Ireland.

"An opportunity came when we were in Scotland doing some training with Search and Rescue teams across the UK, we said to Jamie's family were able to come on those dates.

"The family had given us some information about Jamie, and using that, we could profile him, it's a device called 'lost person behaviour' where we can figure out where people like Jamie may go and that's what we work on.

"Police Scotland were very helpful and they joined us on the Sunday, we started our search in the ICI."

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Beginning their search in the former ICI, Ryan explained the complexity of the location: "It is technically challenging, we were using technical rescue equipment to access some of the areas in order to search it properly.

"We are using victim recovery dogs, it gives us a much better chance to locate somebody. It is so thick in there, you can be so close to somebody and you can't see them, but the dogs will know they are there.

"Unfortunately we didn't find Jamie, we are already discussing on the boat home when we can get back again so we can continue searching for Jamie."

Although Police Scotland can't formally task K9 NI to search an area, Ryan explains how cooperative the authority has been. He continued: "We are all there for the same reasons. The police have done a lot, more than the public believes, they have done a lot of mapping, and that is what has helped let us in."

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Although their searches didn't find Jamie, Ryan and his team are already in discussion to come back.

He said: "Every time we go out to look for a missing person, we go out with the objective of finding them. So it is always very deflating when you come home and you haven't found them, the mystery lingers on.

"We are fully committed to that. We met Jamie's mum on Sunday, and I can't imagine what she is going through.

"It costs over £1000 to bring us over in transport, so it is a significant cost. We were very grateful to Edinmore B&B in Ardrossan who let us stay for free with the dogs and fed up. It meant it was possible for us to stay. "

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Jamie was last seen on Thursday, May 20 around 10 am on Kinnier Road. He was reported missing on Saturday, May 22.

The 19-year-old is described as being 6ft 1” tall and was wearing grey jogging bottoms, grey trainers, and a blue jacket when he was last seen. He was also carrying a camouflage backpack.