18.05.20

The Sunshine Coast-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter has spent more than seven hours in the air and is currently still searching for a man, who is believed to have fallen overboard from a fishing trawler. 

The rescue helicopter was first tasked by the Queensland Police Service and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, just after 4:15am and has continued to search throughout the day, returning to base three times to refuel.

The crew has been searching in a grid pattern, about 40 kilometres off the Sunshine Coast.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrew Officer Scott Reeman described the conditions as challenging. 

“Conditions are poor for searching. There’s wind and swell making it difficult,” he said. 

“We’ve been flying a couple of hundred feet above the water, at a slow speed.”

“Unfortunately, we still haven’t spotted anything.”

The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper is part of a mammoth combined search effort, involving other helicopters and a jet, as well as boats from other services. 

It’s believed the trawler turned back to search for the man, after he first fell into the water, early this morning.