SEARCH: Senior Constable Craig Collings points out the area where the capsized trawler was found in the search for David Chivers and Matt Roberts. photo Lea Emery / Fraser Coast Chronicle
SEARCH: Senior Constable Craig Collings points out the area where the capsized trawler was found in the search for David Chivers and Matt Roberts. photo Lea Emery / Fraser Coast Chronicle Lea Emery

Is this our Bermuda Triangle? Three tragedies off coast

A SEARCH of the waters off Hervey Bay and Bundaberg will be carried out early next year in an attempt to discover what led to tragedies involving three trawlers that either capsized or vanished near Fraser Island over the past year.

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman confirmed Maritime Safety Queensland was working with the Queensland Police Service and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in investigating the loss of the vessels.

"We are planning to do a comprehensive survey of this area with the specialised survey vessel OG Norfolk early next year," the spokesman said.

The first of three tragedies happened in April, when an overturned trawler was spotted off Waddy Point on the northern end of Fraser.

Skipper Matt Roberts, 61, and David Chivers, 36, were on board the Cassandra when the incident happened.

The search for the two men continued for several days, but they were never found.

Then on November 8, a 53-year-old fisherman was lost at sea when his prawn trawler capsized off the east coast of the island.

Tragedy struck again when communications with a third trawler ceased on November 12.

The trawler was scheduled to dock on the Sunshine Coast on November 18 but failed to do so.

The trawler has not been found and the three men on board are still missing.

The search was scaled back after several days when no trace was found.

In October. the wives of the two men lost after the Cassandra capsized attended a memorial for their husbands.

A bell was placed on the water's edge at Bundy's Port in tribute to the men.

A Hervey Bay Water Police spokesman said a report about the trawler incidents was being prepared for the coroner.

The Department of Main Roads spokesman said the investigation would be carried out within the context of any directions issued by the coroner.



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