Crews embark on third day of searching for diver

9.21am: 

THE search for a diver missing off the Central Queensland coast has entered its third day.

The man is from Taupo in New Zealand.

The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter has left its Mackay Base to aid three other helicopters and six fixed wing aircraft in the search.

If the man is not found, the helicopter will return in three hours to refuel.

Meanwhile, the mother of a man lost at sea this time last year has urged the missing man's family not to give up hope.

Sonia Ball spent 15 stressful hours waiting for news of her son Max, who went missing while fishing with Jeno Green and Jessie Walker in June 2012.

The three were eventually found clinging to a single life jacket, with a large shark circling nearby.

"Just don't give up," Ms Ball said.

"I never gave up hope, but that isn't to say it wasn't extremely stressful because in the back of your mind you're waiting and it's... yes or no.

"It really is traumatising and I do feel for them." 

 

5.00pm:

POLICE have suspended their search for a 35-year-old man missing about 100 nautical miles east, south east of Mackay.

The search has been suspended due to rough seas and failing light.

The search will resume tomorrow at 8am with six fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters recommencing their aerial search and water police vessels from Gladstone and Yeppoon patrolling the area.

 

10.17am:

RACQ CQ Rescue is participating in a large-scale search for a missing diver, 100 nautical miles off the coast of Mackay.

The rescue helicopter crew has now departed for its first search stint of today, after completing two missions overnight - the first departing at 8:30pm, the second at 12am.

During the first mission, the crew flew for an hour to arrive on scene and spent half an hour searching before needing to return to base to re-fuel.

An hour later the crew was air-borne again, this time carrying two Self Deploying Locating Marker Beacons (SDLMB). These beacons are used to track water currents by AusSAR and were successfully deployed by the RACQ CQ Rescue crew, who then returned to base at 2am.

The search is being conducting in an area of the Coral Sea between Paul Reef and Storm Cay Reef.

The male diver has been missing since 5pm yesterday afternoon. He is wearing a wet suit.

Search conditions last night were mild, with a bit of cloud and showers passing through.

Today, an operations centre is being set up at the RACQ CQ Rescue base by AusSAR and the SES. A total of six fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters are searching for the man from the air with a number of marine vessels also involved.

 

7.50am:

POLICE are currently searching for a 35-year-old man missing about 100 nautical miles east, south east of Mackay.

The man was on a fishing vessel when it is believed he may have fallen overboard around 7pm last night.

Around 6 fixed wing aircraft and 2 helicopters are conducting an aerial search with water police from Gladstone and Yeppoon both heading to the location to assist.

The vessel he fell off is also currently searching the area.


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