Searchers give up finding missing Kiwi alive off Hobart coast

Police continue their search off the Tasmanian coast. Photo / Richard Jupe / The Mercury
Police continue their search off the Tasmanian coast. Photo / Richard Jupe / The Mercury

Searchers are continuing to look for two missing crewmen from a fishing vessel lost off Hobart with a New Zealander on board.

But those in charge of the extensive mission have given up on finding anyone alive after the boat failed to return on Sunday as expected.

The bodies of two men, yet to be identified, washed ashore on the Tasmanian coastline on Monday, while the other two crew remain missing.

Tasmanian police Inspector Lee Renshaw said the search for those missing was continuing this morning, focusing on Norfolk Bay, Southern Tasmania.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was buzzing through the air, while police vessels roam the seas.

Renshaw said three of the men, a 33-year-old, 32-year-old and 26-year-old were from Hobart, while the Kiwi was 35. They were reported missing by a family member on Sunday evening.

"The men, who left on their fishing trip in a 4.8m fibreglass vessel about 9am on Sunday, were believed to have access to lifejackets but were not carrying a [locator beacon]," Renshaw said.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

"Our thoughts are with the families involved."

Yesterday, searchers said the chances of finding anyone alive in the cold waters were non-existent.

"It's highly, highly unlikely that anyone could have survived from that time until now," said Commander Tony Ceritelli.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman has said the New Zealand police liaison officer at the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra was in contact with Australian authorities and New Zealand police were in contact with family of the missing Kiwi.

- NZ Herald

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