The search for a missing Japanese tourist feared drowned in the sea off Co Clare has been formally stood down after 21 days.

The intensive multi-agency operation concluded this afternoon with no trace of 61-year-old Ushio Azaki.

The body of her partner, Eiji Takagi (63), was found by divers from Kilkee Sub Aqua Club on day six of the search.

The pair were last seen on the morning of 22 August when they parked their rental car at Byrnes Cove in Kilkee.

Two days later they were due to fly from Shannon to London but failed turn up at the airport.

Air and coastal searches continued today with the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter carrying out sweeps of the coast from Kilkee to Mutton Island.

Kilkee Coast Guard personnel undertook low water searches in the area while teams from Ballybunnion searched along the south shore of the Shannon Estuary.

During the past three weeks, the search also involved Coast Guard units from Doolin, Naval divers and other dive clubs as well as Civil Defence teams from Clare, Dublin, Laois and Tipperary.

The Irish Coast Guard has now confirmed that the search has been formally stood down as of this afternoon.