There is still no sign of missing New Zealander Jordan Kelly or his paddle three days after he went missing in big swell off Brisbane.
The 26-year-old became separated from his mate Jack McDonald while they were paddling their surf skis in heavy seas off North Stradbroke Island on Saturday.
Both ended up in the water when Mr McDonald’s ski started to sink. The 28-year-old has told police that Mr Kelly “slipped away” after exhaustion set in.
Mr McDonald was able to paddle to safety, making it to Amity Point Wharf on the island at about 8pm, about seven hours after the pair got into trouble.
Brisbane Water Police acting Senior Sergeant Mitch Gray said water conditions had improved and vessels and helicopters resumed the search on Tuesday morning.
There’s still no trace of Mr Kelly or his surf ski paddle, which would have floated.
“We haven’t found any clues, we haven’t found Jordan and there’s a paddle still outstanding, so if any member of the public finds a black carbon fibre paddle we would definitely be interested in that,” Senior Sergeant Gray told ABC Radio.
He said Mr McDonald was “doing it tough”, but had recovered from mild hypothermia and been debriefed about the incident by water police.
On Monday night, Mr McDonald was also able to return to the area where Mr Kelly disappeared on Saturday night to help police narrow down the search area using shore lights and landmarks.
“You know being there all the way to the end and then having to make that decision to paddle back to land, yeah, I can’t imagine what that would feel like,” Senior Sergeant Gray said.
Members of Mr Kelly’s family have arrived from New Zealand on Monday, with others on their way.
Senior Sergeant Gray paid tribute to members of the North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay community for doing everything they could to help the search, particularly the Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue personnel.
“Some people are even, you know, not turning up to work, their work’s been very good to let them go and be out there and help us,” he said.
“You know these jobs don’t go get that without the community and volunteers.”