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Police divers find two bodies in sunken Queensland fishing trawler recovery mission

By Robyn Ironside and staff, Sunday October 22, 2017 - 00:01 EDT
ABC licensed image
Sea cucumber fishing trawler Dianne, capsized north of Bundaberg. - ABC licensed

Two bodies have been found in a recovery mission for a trawler that sank off the central Queensland coast earlier this week with seven men on board.



Six of the men were believed to have drowned .

Police said the two bodies, which have not been identified, have been brought back to the surface and are on board the police vessel.

"It's not the best scenario," Inspector Darren Somerville said on Saturday.

"We hoped we'd be able to clear the whole vessel today but [the families] are understanding."

Inspector Somerville said the divers were hampered by poor visibility and also debris in the vessel, and searches would continue on Sunday to find the other men.



The about two to three nautical miles off Round Hill Headland, near Seventeen Seventy on Friday afternoon.

Fisherman Ruben McDornan survived after spending hours clinging to the upturned hull before it sank and he was rescued.



Earlier on Saturday, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dean Narramore said there would be rain and strong winds in the area.

"We should see rain develop up around the northern Wide Bay and Capricornia coast as we move into early this afternoon and into this evening."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement the family and friends of the six missing men "remain in our thoughts and prayers".

"I want to pay tribute to all officers involved the search, and to those who will now work in the recovery," she said.



Local resident Harry Charalambous said the local community had been left shocked by the incident.

"It's pretty horrific to think six people are missing because most of us are boaties around here as well, we go out to the reef fishing," he said.

He said it was hard to understand how a "45-foot boat" sank on Monday night.



"The conditions were pretty bad but they weren't, we think, overly horrendous that a boat like that should've been able to handle it," he said.

Friends of some of the missing men laid flowers at a makeshift memorial set up in the town of Seventeen Seventy.

One left a note saying "sorry boys, we tried to find you", while others hugged and comforted each other.


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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