News Missing fishermen: No sign of four men after divers search sunken vessel

Missing fishermen: No sign of four men after divers search sunken vessel

The pair were seen entering the ocean at the northern end of Broadbeach.
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A police dive team has searched the sunken wreckage of a trawler off the Queensland coast but found no sign of the four crew who are missing, presumed dead.

Police divers have found no trace of four men, lost at sea when their fishing trawler overturned, after searching the sunken wreckage off the Queensland coast.

The sea-cucumber trawler FV Dianne overturned in treacherous conditions near the town of 1770 on Monday night.

Ruben McDornan managed to get clear of the sinking vessel but skipper Ben Leahy, 45, and crew members Adam Hoffman, 30, Eli Tonks, 39, Adam Bidner, 33, Chris Sammut, 34, and Zach Feeney, 28, are presumed dead.

The bodies of two of the six men were retrieved on Saturday and the search resumed on Sunday.

But, after locating and searching the ship’s wreckage and surroundings, police divers found no sign of the men by Sunday afternoon.

“We know what happened with the vessel turning over and sinking. We have one survivor and – as far as he knew – there were six people still in the vessel,” Queensland Police Inspector Darren Somerville told journalists at Gladstone.

“(Mr McDornan) was unsure they had not escaped the way he had. At this stage, we don’t know where the remaining four people are.”

Police boats and aircraft swept the coast from Round Hill to Cape Capricorn on Sunday but found nothing from the trawler, he said.

The bodies of the two men recovered have been identified but names have not been released as next-of-kin continue to be notified.

Insp Somerville said it was always a possibility that the crew would not be found in the wreckage.

However, the dive team was confident it had cleared the site and the time-frame for survival – whether inside the boat or in the water – had expired some time ago.

Meanwhile, Mr McDornan’s family took to social media to thank those who came to his aid.

His mother-in-law Jenny Taylor used the Agnes Water/1770 Community Group Facebook page to thank everyone who supported him when he was taken into their community after being rescued by a passing boat.

“I don’t know names of all the people who came to his aid but we are so thankful and grateful for what you did,” she wrote on Sunday.

“You cared, clothed, fed, provided shelter and protected him in his time of need.”

Ms Taylor also thanked rescuers for their efforts in trying to find his six friends.

“Your kindness and efforts will not be forgotten,” she said.

“We can never thank you all enough for what you did for Ruben and the other boys.”

Mr McDornan’s wife Sammy thanked well-wishers in a Facebook post on Friday.

“Just wanted to reach out to everyone who has rung, sent messages, love, their thoughts and prayers, thank you so much,” she said.

Members of the local community have started a flower memorial for the men at 1770’s Round Hill Headland, overlooking the water.

The search will resume on Monday with police vessels, sonar and aircraft being used and police officers scouring beaches on foot.