Police trawl river for angler
By DAVID BANCROFT
POLICE divers from Sydney will resume their search this morning for a 59-year-old South Grafton man who went missing on a fishing expedition near Eatonsville on Monday afternoon.
They will be joined by police and emergency service officers from the Clarence and Coffs Harbour areas.
After combing the area around the Eatonsville boat ramp until dark on Monday and again all day yesterday, the rescue workers were unable to locate any trace of the man.
The alarm was raised late on Monday after the missing man failed to rendezvous with fishing companions for a scheduled 3pm fishing outing.
They later found his four-metre runabout drifting about 300 metres downstream from the boat ramp and on the other side of the river. It is believed the man set off from the small ramp mid-afternoon and was going to catch shrimp to use as bait for garfish.
It is thought he had caught shrimp, which were in the boat, and his shrimp net had been tied back into position.
One shoe was in the boat, but there was no sign of the other shoe or the fisherman.
Police said the boat's outboard motor was not running when found.
On Monday afternoon police, State Emergency Service personnel and several private boat owners searched the river and made a foot search of the river banks.
That search continued yesterday from about 8.30am with two police vessels ? one from Grafton and the other from Coffs Harbour ? and SES units from Grafton City and Nymboida, each with their own vessels.
They were joined yesterday afternoon by the Sydney police divers.
Most of the search was conducted downstream from the area where the man went missing, but because the area is tidal, areas upstream from the boat ramp were also searched.
Police said there was a strong outgoing tide at the time the man went missing.
It is believed he has family in South Grafton.
His name was not released late yesterday.