Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Sunken fishing trawler off Queensland coast to be examined by police divers

RACQ Life Flight Rescue helicopter chief operating officer Brian Guthrie RACQ Life Flight Rescue helicopter chief operating officer Brian Guthrie MARSDEN LUKE
Preston Stone | 21 October, 2017, 10:26

Authorities are attempting to recover a fishing vessel that capsized and sank off the Queensland coast with six crewmen on board.

The bodies of the missing fisherman are believed to be entombed on the sunken vessel, with their families told the "window of survivability" has closed.

Owen Schubert owns a fishing vessel identical to the one that sunk off Queensland on Monday and has claimed that those on-board should have been able to swim out.

One man, Ruben McDornan, 32, survived while Adam Bidner, 33, Chris Sammut, 34, Eli Tonks, 39, Zach Feeney, 28, Adam Hoffman, 30, and skipper Ben Leahy, 45, are still missing, feared dead.

A diving team from Brisbane with sonar and mapping equipment and a specialist diving team from NSW will today join the search, but flooding has cut off roads to the remote area, making it hard to reach.

"Today, the families expressed their appreciation for the work that is now being done in relation to the search for the missing men and thoughts of the community, however they ask for privacy and compassion during this extremely hard time", the statement read.

Police issued a statement on Thursday after speaking to the families.

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The sole known survivor, Ruben McDornan, managed to cling on to the vessel's hull for hours before he was rescued when a couple on a passing boat heard his screams for help.

After their emotional reunion his wife Sammy revealed her husband was "very sad and sore, but OK" and said she hadn't given up hope of a miracle.

"They're all upset. majority it's hit home it's not going to be an ideal outcome", he said.

The trawler is on the ocean floor in 30 metres of water.

The spokeswoman said the families of the six missing men had been informed of the discovery shortly after it occurred.

On Wednesday afternoon, police admitted the men, who had been fishing for sea cucumber, would have nearly zero chance of survival without a life raft.

Flooded roads had delayed the arrival of several family members of the missing men.

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