Body found, fisherman lost overboard in rough sees off Sunshine Coast

A massive air and sea search is under way to find a fisherman who fell overboard from a trawler off the Sunshine Coast early this morning.

May 18, 2020, updated May 18, 2020
An empty yacht washed up on Mooloolaba Beach overnight. Photo: Array

An empty yacht washed up on Mooloolaba Beach overnight. Photo: Array

The crew onboard the boat called for help about 3:00am after they circled back to find the man but could not locate him.

The Sunshine Coast Lifeflight helicopter was sent to the main search site, about 80km east of Point Arkwright just after 4.15am.

The Mooloolaba Water Police search vessel joined the search before first light and a second police vessel is now en route from Brisbane.

The Noosa Coastguard has also been called in to help.

Mike Middleton from Mooloolaba Coastguard, which is monitoring the situation, said the seas were rough.

“Fisherman often lean over to connect nets and things and the seas are quite rough at the moment at 2 metres and we’ve got 15-25 knots coming up,” he said.

The search is being led by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra.

Meanwhile, A body found in the ocean close to where an abandoned yacht washed up on a Sunshine Coast  beach in rough weather could be that of an American solo sailor.

Police believe it could be the sailor from the 12-metre vessel, which ran aground about 8am on Monday at Mooloolaba Beach.

The vessel is American and police have found an American passport on the boat.

Police will check with customs and port authorities to track the vessel’s route and are in contact with the American consulate to find the man’s next of kin.


– ABC / Owen Jacques

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