SEARCH: Senior Constable Craig Collings points out the area where the capsized trawler was found, with a search set to continue this morning 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, with a search set to continue this morning for David Chivers and Matt Roberts. photo Lea Emery / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Missing fisherman a ‘great bloke’ as search continues

A FRIEND of trawler worker David Chivers has described the missing fisherman as a great bloke.

David Chivers, 36, and Matt Roberts, 61, were aboard the trawler Cassandra when it capsized off Fraser Island between 3am and 7am on Monday.

Mr Chivers went to West Gladstone State School and then Gladstone State High before becoming a trawler fisherman.

School friend Ehammed Anderson said David was the type of person who would give you the shirt off his back.

"He is a top bloke who always rang up to see how all his friends were doing," he said.

One of the fishermen who went missing at sea near Fraser Island.
One of the fishermen who went missing at sea near Fraser Island.

Mr Anderson has spoken to the family and said they wanted their privacy while the search was ongoing.

Police used every possible resource in the three-day search for two missing men.

Police believe a net may have snagged the rocky bottom, dragging the prawn trawler over.

Queensland Police state search and rescue co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Jim Whitehead said during a search operation, police are still required to comply with Civil Aviation Authority regulations regarding the number of aircraft in the search area.

At the height of the search police had two fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters searching the 1000 nautical miles.

The Cassandra has now sunk to the bottom and where the trawler was last seen, oceans get to a depth of 40m. But it is unclear if the wreckage will be searched for the pair.

"That depends on the coroner," Snr Sgt Whitehead said.

High swells in the area often hampered the search making visibility of the area poor and difficult to see.

Snr Sgt Whitehead said the swell also had an impact on the estimated survival times with the high seas meaning the pair would have quickly become exhausted.

He said it was unclear if either man had been wearing a life jacket.

Police officially called off the aerial search at last light on Tuesday.

Owner of the Cassandra, Markwell Fisheries general manager Richard Brown, said the company had hired a commercial aircraft in order to continue the search.

"At present we have one plane out searching," Mr Brown said.

"And that's the only information we can give at this stage."

Fraser Island police are conducting shoreline patrols at low tide to retrieve any debris which washes to shore.


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