Search for Kiwi dad Doug Hunt missing off Queensland coast after fishing trawler does not return

Doug Hunt is understood to be from Tokoroa. Photo / Supplied
Doug Hunt is understood to be from Tokoroa. Photo / Supplied

Police have led an extensive air, land and sea search for a missing boat reportedly carrying a Kiwi father to six kids off the coast of Queensland.

The search for a fishing trawler reported missing in waters off Hervey Bay - south of Bundaberg on Queensland's Fraser Coast - began on Friday, but has now been scaled back, police say.

New Zealander Doug Hunt was on board the missing boat, the Fraser Coast Chronicle reported.

Hunt is understood to be from Tokoroa.

His partner told the paper "Doug is my soul mate and father of our three beautiful children as well as father to my additional three children who he adores."

She said Hunt took a job on the trawler to make some Christmas money for the family.

Police said the trawler departed from Urangan on November 11 about 9.45pm and travelled east through Breaksea Spit before communications ceased the following morning.

"There are three reported crew members, a 60-year-old experienced male skipper, a 24-year-old man and a 38-year-old man.

"The trawler did not dock at its scheduled Sunshine Coast location on November 18, however this was not deemed out of character by those known to the crew members," police said.

Water police began a search on Friday morning, assisted by the Lifeflight rescue helicopter service, that covered the coastline from Busted Head to Urangan Harbour.

Volunteer marine rescue vessels, have also assisted in the search, police said.

"The search area has encompassed thousands of square nautical miles, and at times involved multiple helicopters and vessels," police said.

"Yesterday a helicopter searched from the Gold Coast to Noosa."

Broadcasts across the marine radio network continue in an attempt to find the missing trawler, as well as alerting vessels in the area.

"While the search has now been scaled back police will continue shoreline patrols. The Hervey Bay water police continue their investigations into the suspected disappearance of the trawler with police liaising with the families of the three-man crew, keeping them updated regarding the search."

- NZ Herald

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