AMSA search concluded for missing fisherman off Fraser Island
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) coordinated the search for the missing man, following capsize of the 17 metre prawn trawler Seabring in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
AMSA’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre detected a registered emergency beacon at 2.40 am (AEST) on Tuesday morning and commenced a search operation for the trawler’s three crew.
A broadcast to shipping was issued, requesting nearby vessels to transit the area and provide assistance. Two nearby fishing vessels responded and were able to locate the capsized vessel, rescuing two crew members from the water. The skipper of the vessel was not found.
AMSA coordinated a two-day search for the missing skipper, involving volunteer marine rescue, police and local fishing vessels, as well as 16 helicopters and AMSA’s Dornier search and rescue aircraft. A total of 49 individual search sorties were conducted during the search by AMSA.
The decision to end the AMSA-coordinated search was based on expert medical advice that the missing man could not have survived past today, taking into account various factors including water temperature and weather conditions.
Queensland Police divers searched the partly submerged vessel today. Conditions at the site were restricted and divers could not access all areas of the vessel.
Queensland Police will continue operations in the area and will prepare a report for the Coroner. AMSA and Maritime Safety Queensland will support the police investigation, as required.
AMSA extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the missing skipper.
AMSA would like to thank the search helicopter crews, Queensland Police, Volunteer Marine Rescue and the local fishing fleet for their assistance in the search.
Further enquiries should be directed to Queensland Police.