Search ends in Conception Bay, no missing persons reports filed

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Case closed: Emergency on ice near Kelligrews treated as false alarm

The search for a possible missing person has wrapped up in Kelligrews.

By 7:30 p.m., Rovers Search and Rescue and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had left the scene, with no plans to return.

A witness called the RNC just past noon on Tuesday after losing sight of what they believed was a person walking along the ice pans in the distance.

As of 6 p.m, no missing persons reports had been filed.

A Cormorant helicopter that joined the search returned to Gander at 5 p.m., one hour after arriving on scene in Conception Bay South.

RNC Const. Geoff Higdon said the witness had "a fair amount" of information, leading police to believe it was more than a false sighting.

An amateur photographer told CBC News she spotted a bald eagle on the ice around the same time the person was reported being seen. 

The photographer was some 20 kilometres away in St. John's when she heard reports on CBC Radio of a search for a missing person.

She drove back to Kelligrews and gave a statement to police.

She wondered if it was possible the bird was mistaken for a person.

The search drew attention quickly, with the CBS fire department and a nearby Canadian Coast Guard ship joining the effort immediately.

Rovers set up on the shoreline, while searchers with binoculars looked over the edge of a cliff carefully scanning the search area.

Police have been warning people to stay off ice pans that have been blown into sheltered harbours around Newfoundland this week.

One resident in the area told CBC News he watched as many as 10 people walking out on the ice pans on Monday.