Police divers find bodies in Australia fishing tragedy

October 22, 2017 7:17 am
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A fishing trawler with seven on board sank in rough seas off the coast of Queensland state nearly a week ago © AFP/File / PETER PARKS

, Sydney, Australia, Oct 22 – Australian police divers have recovered the bodies of two fishermen from a sunken trawler and were Sunday searching for four others missing since the boat capsized nearly a week ago.

The commercial fishing trawler with seven on board sank in rough seas off the coast of central Queensland state on Monday.

Rescuers have been scouring the waters near Middle Island, north of the town of Seventeen Seventy, but just one crew member has been found alive.

Ruben McDornan was rescued by a passing catamaran after treading waters for several hours in heavy seas without a life jacket, Queensland’s Courier Mail reported.

McDornan told rescuers he had heard his crewmates trying to get out of the trawler’s cabin.

Two bodies were recovered late Saturday after the boat “Dianne” was located by sonar lying on the seabed at a depth of 30 metres (100 feet), Queensland Police said.

The identities of the pair have not been confirmed.

Police said they would continue to search for the remaining crew Sunday, adding that their efforts were being hampered by debris and poor visibility.

“Specialist police divers are only able to remain under water for 13 minutes and most of those 13 minutes have been spent removing debris from the wreckage,” they added.

McDornan’s rescuers earlier told the Courier Mail it was “pure luck” they had spotted the 32-year-old while moving their vessel to calmer waters to ride out the poor weather conditions.

“He was tired, he was exhausted, he was shaking, he was dehydrated and adrenaline kept him going,” the rescuer, named by the newspaper as Lyn, said, adding that McDornan was battling two to three-metre-high waves.

“He was just so lucky. He was just in our line of where we plotted to.

“He’s a fit young man, which kept him going, because they were rough waves.”

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