THE SEARCH for Fungie the dolphin has been called off after five days without any confirmed sightings of the popular sea mammal.
A Dingle boat tour operator confirmed the news in an emotional update posted on social media late on Sunday evening.
Extensive searches have taken place across the Kerry coast but to no avail.
Several vessels were enlisted to help in the search but have now been called off.
Writing on social media Jimmy Flannery, who runs Dingle Sea Safari, said he still hopes that Fungie will make a reappearance in the coming days.
"After an extensive search today joined by Mallow Search and Rescue Divers, Dingle coast and cliff and Dingle Dolphin Tour boats along with other vessels, unfortunately we have no news of Fungies whereabouts," he said.
"At this stage we are calling off the search in the hopes that Fungie has just gone off on an adventure and if he so chooses will one day return to us.
"We can't thank Mallow Search and Rescue enough for trying to locate our dear friend and as they say no news is good news.
"Wherever you are my friend I hope you are safe and happy thank you for all the years of joy you have brought to so many people."
Jimmy had known Fungie the dolphin for 37 years and is among those to have been hit hardest by his sudden disappearance.
Encounters with Fungie were a near daily occurrence for Jimmy prior to the dolphin’s sudden disappearance.
Dingle’s most famous mammal, Fungie the dolphin previously set a new Guinness World Record for being the longest recorded solitary dolphin on the planet.
A Dingle resident for some 37 years, Fungie was first spotted off the Co Kerry coast way back in 1983.
He has remained ever since, transforming the coastal area into something of a tourist hotspot with visitors arriving in the hopes of spotting the friendly dolphin up close.