Thursday, December 7, 2023

Police call off search for missing fisherman

A Queensland Police search and rescue operation for a third man missing from a fishing vessel which overturned near Creal Reef four days ago, has today been suspended.

Police say the 41-year-old Grasstree Beach man was approximately 100 nautical miles offshore when an EPIRB was activated at 8.10pm on April 13.

Police and emergency services conducted a wide-ranging surface and aerial search, involving Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Response Centre and rescue helicopters.

Following the rescue of two other crew members, a 44-year-old Grasstree Beach man and a 43-year-old Bray Park man, all subsequent efforts have failed to locate the third man, Queensland Police said today.

Inspector Andrew Godbold said the outcome was heartbreaking for the family of the missing man.

“Despite the best efforts of all members of the search and rescue team, we have been unable to locate him,” Inspector Godbold said.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to his loved ones.”

“While we hold serious concerns for the man’s welfare, I ask the boating community to be vigilant and to report sightings or information to police immediately.”

Inspector Godbold praised the gallant efforts of everyone involved in the search.

“Their dedication was nothing short of commendable,” he said.

Inspector Godbold reminded boaties to be prepared and remain alert to conditions.

Before you set out, ensure you tell a responsible person about your itinerary to raise the alarm early if you come into trouble,” he said.

“Always take an EPIRB — and ensure all parties know where it’s located and how to activate it.”

“And always wear your life jacket, as conditions change unexpectedly.”

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