There is now little chance missing boatie Tony Higgins will be found alive after rough weather brought an end to the second rescue mission for his vessel.
There is now little chance missing boatie Tony Higgins will be found alive after rough weather brought an end to the second rescue mission for his vessel.

Police call off search for missing boatie

Police have officially called off their search for missing sailor Tony Higgins after three days as stormy weather hindered efforts today.

It brings to an end the second major search for Mr Higgins and his 33ft vessel, the Margrel, this month.

Neither Mr Higgins or his boat have been found.

Tony Higgins on board The Margrel on September 11 after being towed to safety from Salt Creek. Picture: Matt Turner.
Tony Higgins on board The Margrel on September 11 after being towed to safety from Salt Creek. Picture: Matt Turner.

The 57-year-old called for help on Tuesday morning, telling triple 0 he was taking on water off Granite Island.

On Wednesday crews recovered glasses, keys and an ID card belonging to Mr Higgins after debris from the Margrel was founded washed ashore at the Murray Mouth.

About 500sq km of coastal area was searched before the rescue effort was aborted.

The search has included the assistance of sea rescue volunteers, police helicopter, a plane and a Challenger aircraft provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Police have thanked the services who assisted the search in trying conditions.

Debris from Tony Higgins’ boat The Margrel. Picture: Tait Schmaal
Debris from Tony Higgins’ boat The Margrel. Picture: Tait Schmaal

Mr Higgins and his friend Derek Robinson, were subject to the largest search effort in the state's history earlier this month while attempting to sail the Magrel from Coffin Bay to Goolwa.

The pair were miraculously found alive near Salt Creek, hours after that four-day search effort was called off.

Mr Robinson said believed Mr Higgins made an early-morning run for the Murray Mouth on Tuesday before getting into trouble.

"It saddens me, his boat has gone down … I can only hope he's got a life jacket on and he's made it to land," he said.

Anyone who locates more debris is asked to contact the police assistance line on 131 444.

Tony Higgins with his mate Derek Robinson on the Margrel. Picture: Matt Turner.
Tony Higgins with his mate Derek Robinson on the Margrel. Picture: Matt Turner.

Originally published as Police call off search for missing boatie



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