Searchers looking for a fishing vessel lost off Hobart with a New Zealander on board have given up hope of finding anyone alive.

The bodies of two men who are still being identified washed ashore on the Tasmanian coastline yesterday. Two of the crew still remain unaccounted for.

An extensive sea and air search resumed for a second day as police admitted the chances of finding survivors in the cold water were non-existent.

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


Police said they were now in the process of identifying the pair who had washed ashore.

At a press conference today it was revealed only one of the men was wearing a lifejacket while the other had a severe head injury.

Police said searchers had found the bodies within 3km of each other. They had also found a lifejacket and fuel tank believed to have come from the stricken vessel.

Now search efforts, which included five police craft, three jet skis and a helicopter, were focusing on a patch of water where the older-style vessel may have got into trouble.

The men were reported missing by a family member on Sunday night after last being heard from just before 9am when they launched their 4.8m fibreglass boat from a suburban beach.

An extensive search was mounted across Frederick Henry Bay and Storm Bay down to Cape Raoul for remaining men while foot searches were taking place around beaches and cliffs in the area.

The men, aged 26, 32, 33 and 35, were carrying four lifejackets but not an emergency locator beacon.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said today 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.