Local News

Debris Found During Search for Missing Boat

6 sept coffin bay 1

A rescue helicopter is flying over Encounter Bay today, looking for any sign of a skipper and missing boat.

Conditions are clearer on the south coast today but there is no sign of life following the discovery of debris.

Tony Higgins made a distress call yesterday morning to say the Margrel had broken its moorings off Granite Island and was taking on water.

The same boat was the subject of an extensive search earlier this month, which cost taxpayers around $650,000, before the vessel was found in the Coorong.

Just after 6.30am on Wednesday 23 September, police received a call from a local commercial fisherman after he had discovered a number of items of debris washed ashore several kilometres south-east from the Murray Mouth.

The debris appears consistent with items from the missing boat..

Patrols and the police helicopter (PolAir) are currently conducting a coastal search while a fixed wing aircraft is focusing on searching open waters in the same area.

Just after 5am on Tuesday 22 September, police received a call from a man reporting his boat was taking on water near Granite Island. The boat is the same vessel that was the subject of an extensive search earlier this month south of Port Lincoln.

Sea Rescue volunteers conducted a search for several hours yesterday morning but were forced to return to shore as weather conditions worsened. 

Police received confirmed reports the vessel was seen anchored off Granite Island around 3pm Monday.

The Challenger aircraft provided by AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) searched the area until 11pm last night using infrared radar equipment. Debris located in the water around 4.30pm yesterday by the aircraft is currently being examined.

Anyone who has had contact with the man or saw the vessel after 3pm Monday, is urged to call the Police Assistance Line immediately on 131444.