Police have vowed to do everything possible to find a missing boy, presumed swept away in flood waters at Unanderra, but have warned members of the public against joining the search as the region braces for more rain on Friday.
His 13-year-old brother was with him at the time and raised the alarm.
A family-led search failed to find to Ryan and police were alerted about 6.30pm.
“What they were doing is riding on boogie boards down the reserve due to the rain and what we believe may have happened is that Ryan may have fallen into one of those drains, Lake Illawarra police commander Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan said.
Speaking on Friday morning, as the search to find Ryan resumed, Supt Dzevlan said about 100 emergency service personnel, from multiple agencies, were involved in the operation.
“We’ve been searching that immediate vicinity [around Riley Park] and we’ve also been searching where the drains finish into the creeks around the area,” Supt Dzevlan said.
Wollongong City Council staff are also on site as they have detailed knowledge of the drain network in the area.
Supt Dzevlan said police and search teams were “doing everything we can” to find Ryan and vowed to search “as long as we can”.
The area of focus for search teams was “everything that stems from Riley Park”, he said.
While addressing the media on Friday morning, the police chief preferred not to send a message to people using body boards in floodwater, instead focusing his attention on the unfolding search.
“We have a family who at the moment is grieving and we also have a number of police and emergency services looking for Ryan and I would remain hopeful that we find him,” he said.
Supt Dzevlan also warned members of the public against joining the search.
“We have police, we have SES, we have trained staff from a number of emergency services doing everything they can with the restrictions,” he said.
“It’s still overcast overcast here at the moment, it’s been raining all night [and] they expect rain again today [Friday]. I wouldn’t want anyone putting themselves in danger.
“We are searching, we have experienced people doing what they do best.”
Rainfall totals of between 10 and 20 millimetres are expected in Wollongong on Friday, according to Weatherzone.
Saturday is set to bring between 20 and 50mm, the Bureau of Meteorology has said.