Police aboard a sea rescue boat, one of 11 vessels which searched for the missing men, finding two bodies. Picture: Sky News.
Police aboard a sea rescue boat, one of 11 vessels which searched for the missing men, finding two bodies. Picture: Sky News.

Family tragedy: Two dead, two missing at sea

HOPES are fading for a family of four fisherman missing off the coast of Perth as the body of a second missing man has been found.

The discovery of the second body was made on Friday afternoon off Garden Island, after the four men and their boat vanished.

The party had set off on Wednesday.

The group, a 50-year-old man, his younger brother, the man's 24-year-old son and his 31-year-old son-in-law, set off for Rottnest Island, 30km off the coast of Perth.

The fishing party, from Coodanup, 75km south of Perth, had left Cockburn Sound on the WA coast and failed to return home the following evening.

Authorities located "flotsam and jetsam" from their 5.5m motor boat, the Yeah Buoy, including a backpack, pieces of wood, an esky lid and clothing.

Nearby the debris, at around 1.30pm on Friday, the first body was located.

The remains of the second man were found more than four hours later.

The 5.5m boat on which the party of four men went missing off Perth, WA. Picture: WA Police.
The 5.5m boat on which the party of four men went missing off Perth, WA. Picture: WA Police.

The Yeah Buoy was carrying safety equipment including emergency beacons and an operational EPIRB, but none were activated.

A police operation involving three helicopters, a plane and 11 boats mounted a search covering 400 square kilometres of sea and around 1200 sqkm by air, WA Police Inspector Sean Togher said.

A family friend of the missing men told the ABC that the fishermen were experienced and practised safety precautions.

"We are guessing. I mean at the end of the day these guys went out quite a bit," Jeff Tiedtke said.

He was not giving up hope but agreed the chances of finding the remaining two men alive were "slim" and that their loss was "devastating".

The family of four men from Coodanup south of Perth set sail for Rottnest island but didn’t return.
The family of four men from Coodanup south of Perth set sail for Rottnest island but didn’t return.

Police said the likelihood of the remaining men surviving would come down to their level of fitness, and the clothing they were wearing at the time.

The search is continuing.

WA Water Police would like to hear from anyone who was boating at Rottnest Island and saw the white vessel with four people on board.

 

 

WA Water Police: 131444.

candace.sutton@news.com.au

Police on board one of the rescue boats which have searched 400 sqkm of sea for the missing men. Picture: Sky News.
Police on board one of the rescue boats which have searched 400 sqkm of sea for the missing men. Picture: Sky News.
Three helicopters and a search plane looked for signs of the men being still alive. Picture: Sky News.
Three helicopters and a search plane looked for signs of the men being still alive. Picture: Sky News.
Hopes are fading for the family of a missing party of four fishermen feared drowned in boating tragedy off Perth.
Hopes are fading for the family of a missing party of four fishermen feared drowned in boating tragedy off Perth.


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