Searchers vow they won’t stop looking for missing fishermen

VOLUNTEERS in the search for two fishermen missing in waters south of Hobart say they will keep going until they can bring closure to loved ones.

Yesterday’s gruelling search amid strong winds and significant swells failed to find the missing men after the bodies of their two mates were recovered on Monday.

Surf Life Saving Tasmania general manager Tony van den Enden said the volunteers were committed to the grim task.

“We’re trying to do everything we can while we’ve got this window and for the men’s family and friends,” he said.
“The volunteers are only too happy to do everything they can.”

The four recreational fishermen – a 33-year-old, a 32-year-old and 26-year-old from Hobart, and a 35-year-old from New Zealand – set out in an old 5m fibreglass boat from Cremorne’s Pipe Clay Lagoon on Sunday morning. The alarm was raised later that night by a relative when they failed to return.

On Monday, a body was pulled from waters off Sloping Main by search volunteers from Tassal. Police said the man was not wearing a lifejacket and bore a head injury, which will be investigated by Coroner Simon Cooper.

About 15 minutes earlier police found another body on the shoreline in the same area.

Yesterday’s search encompassed 21 people on five police boats, the Westpac rescue helicopter, two Volunteer Marine Rescue vessels and surf life saving jet skis.

The teams scoured a 65sq nautical mile search area, mostly in Frederick Henry Bay, conducting land searches on hard to reach coastline. A fuel tank believed to belong to the missing boat was found at Black Jack Point.


Police were unsure if a life jacket, located far south and a tackle box found near Sloping Main Island, belonged to the men.
Using mathematical modelling of signals from one of the men’s phones captured early Sunday, police have an area where they think they may have gotten into trouble. The area is in the ­middle of the bay to the east of Cremorne.

“We’re doing more work to reduce that bit of sea and when we come to that conclusion we’ll have a bit of a look with divers at some stage,” Insp Renshaw said.
The police command vessel the Van Diemen remained at sea last night with search and rescue parties expected to head out again at first light.