Police search for a man who fell overboard from a Tin Can Bay trawler in Sunshine Coast waters. The 48-year-old is presumed dead, according to Maritime Safety.
Police search for a man who fell overboard from a Tin Can Bay trawler in Sunshine Coast waters. The 48-year-old is presumed dead, according to Maritime Safety.

Maritime Safety say Tin Can Bay deckhand is ‘presumed dead’

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has strongly urged commercial vessel operators and crew to wear life jackets after a 48-year-old Tin Can Bay deckhand was lost overboard in Sunshine Coast waters this week.

AMSA investigations continue into the loss of the 48-year-old seafarer, who went missing from a fishing trawler on Monday seven nautical miles (50km) off Point Arkwright.

FISHERMAN LOST OVERBOARD IN SUNSHINE COAST WATERS

*Police searching coastline for missing Tin Can Bay deckhand

*Close-knit fishing community grieves loss of 48yo deckhand

He was not found despite exhaustive search and rescue efforts, and is presumed dead.

AMSA manager of operations north Greg Witherall said two AMSA officers attended the trawler K-Vern on Tuesday to "inspect the vessel and conduct interviews with the crew".

"While it's too early to go into the details of this investigation, there is an important safety message that needs to be heard," Mr Witherall said.

"The person who went overboard was not wearing a lifejacket."

Mr Witherall said the K-Vern crew "did everything they could to save their mate", including throwing flotation devices into the water and immediately turning the boat around to search for him.

The major search for a missing fisherman lasted for days, but he could not be found.
The major search for a missing fisherman lasted for days, but he could not be found.

But it wasn't enough to avoid a likely tragedy.

"What we know from similar incidents, is that people who go overboard wearing a lifejacket have far better survival rates than those who are not," Mr Witherall said.

"It's really that simple."

Mr Witherall said there was some resistance among commercial fishermen, who felt life jackets were uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time at sea.

"I say to them, don't risk your life for the sake of comfort," he said.

"There are many types of life jackets available today, find one that works for you and wear it.

"When you're working in an environment that can be as unforgiving as the sea, you should always prepare for the unexpected."

Gympie Times

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