Wave may have caused capsize

Police escort a man around Wivenhoe Dam to re-trace the movements of the canoe that capsized on Monday.
Police escort a man around Wivenhoe Dam to re-trace the movements of the canoe that capsized on Monday. Rob Williams

A FISHERMAN who survived a tragic boating accident joined the police effort yesterday to find his missing mate.

Daniel Mann, 27, was fishing with long-time friend, Justin Anderson, also 27, in a three-metre canoe at Lake Wivenhoe on Monday when the vessel capsized, throwing both men into the water.

Mr Mann managed to swim to the eastern shore and eventually walk to safety, however police fear Mr Anderson drowned.

Eight police and staff from Seqwater resumed the search for Mr Anderson at 7am yesterday, concentrating on the Hamon’s Cove area.

“Officers are using side-scanning sonar equipment and they also took Daniel out with them,” Ipswich District Inspector Merv Adamson said.

“He’s indicating they went down in one area, but with everything that happened he’s not properly oriented.”

Police believe Mr Mann spent about three hours swimming to shore after the vessel tipped, about 10.30am Monday.

He yesterday took the search team to the place where he finally reached the shore, also showing them where he set up a leaf shelter to protect him from the elements on Monday night.

Police said that when the boat went down, both men were wearing cargo pants and long-sleeved t-shirts.

Mr Anderson was wearing steel-capped boots which may have inhibited his ability to stay above water.

The area at the dam currently subject to the search undulates between 10m and 27m in depth.

Exactly what caused the boat to capsize is unconfirmed; however, police believe the narrow canoe was hit by a wave created by a gust of wind.

Inspector Adamson said the boat also had 40kg of batteries stored on board, which could have contributed to the accident.

The two mates launched their boat at Logan’s Inlet about 7am on the Queen’s Birthday holiday, venturing out into deeper water than normal in an effort to catch bigger fish.

The search will continue at 8am today, with the help of volunteers from the State Emergency Services.

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