Search fails to find missing Qld fishermen

Robyn Wuth |

An extensive search has failed to find three fishermen who have been missing in waters in far north Queensland for more than a week.

Four men set off on an overnight fishing trip from Mission Beach on July 10 before their vessel took on water and sank.

Police believe the men attempted to swim to an island nearby after failing to activate the boat’s emergency position indicating radio beacon.

One man, a 36-year-old Tongan national, was found clinging to a buoy off the Queensland coast on July 11.

His three mates – a 24-year-old local who owns the boat, and two Vanuatu nationals, aged 26 and 31, remain lost at sea. 

The two Vanuatuans were in Australia working as fruit pickers.

Acting Inspector Brett Jenkins said the outcome was heartbreaking for the families of the missing men, the rescued man and the community.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the men’s loved ones, who police remain in close contact with,” he said. 

“Tragically, while we no longer hold out hope for a positive outcome, I ask the community to be vigilant, boaties in particular, who are asked to report any debris or information to police.”