Distraught relatives of a missing surf skier have arrived in Queensland as an aerial, sea and land search continues for the man off North Stradbroke Island.
Police hold grave fears for competitive surf ski rider Jordan Kelly, 26, who became separated from his mate Jack McDonald, 28, while they were paddling their surf skis around the island on Saturday.
Members of his family arrived from New Zealand on Sunday night, with others on their way who will help in the search for their beloved son and brother.
Acting Senior Sergeant Mitch Gray said he would take them by boat to North Stradbroke where they’ll help with beach searches.
“I picked the mum, dad and the brothers up from the airport last night and spent some time with them,” Senior Sergeant Gray said.
“They’re going to come here to the Water Police base where we’ll provide them the information they need.
“Then we’re going to get them off to North Stradbroke Island, where they’re going to help with some beach searches and things like that for us.”
He said Mr McDonald shared his account of what happened.
The pair had set off from Dunwich, on the mainland side of the island, and intended to paddle around the top of the island to Cylinder Beach, on the ocean-facing side before heading back again.
Both ended up in the water when Mr McDonald’s ski started to sink about 1.30pm. He said his friend Jordan “slipped away” after exhaustion set in.
“Jordan has paddled over to assist him. They’ve both held onto that ski until such a time, after dark, that they’ve just become weak and tired from being in the water and unfortunately Jordan slipped away,” Acting Senior Sergeant Gray said.
Mr McDonald was able to paddle to safety, making it to Amity Point Wharf on the island at about 8pm, about seven hours after they got into trouble.
On Monday, police could not confirm media reports that the second ski had been found in the ocean.
The search is continuing with the assistance of a helicopter and a dozen vessels. Other teams are checking the shorelines of North Stradbroke and nearby Moreton islands.
The men were not wearing life jackets and sea conditions on the exposed side of the island were hazardous, he said.
“As time goes on, certainly we become more and more concerned we’re not going to have a happy ending to this scenario.”