The Water Police Coordination Centre in Fremantle is currently conducting a marine search and rescue operation off the Cockburn sound, Fremantle Harbour and Rottnest Island coastline.
At approximately 9:00pm yesterday evening, Thursday 4th October, family members contacted the police in regards to their concerns over four men who had left Cockburn Sound to go fishing at Rottnest Island, in a 5.5 metre boat, had failed to return home.
Sean Togher, WA Police Inspector, said the four men left Woodman’s Point on Wednesday Morning for an overnight fishing trip.
The occupants of the vessel made contact with various friends and family yesterday in relation to returning from to Woodman’s point,”
“When they failed to return at 7:00pm, family members checked the car park where the car and boat trailer was still present at that location and at that point they raised the alarm with the police, water police then activated a search and rescue operation,” he said.
Water Police, volunteer sea rescue groups, Rottnest rangers and local police have conducted overnight searches for the vessel.
Searchers have located the body of a deceased person west of Garden Island around 1:30pm today.
The body is yet to be identified, and further inquiries will be carried out by the Coronial Investigation Unit.
“Today has been very favourable in regards to the search, we were worried that storm conditions would come in, but so far they’ve held off, enabling us to keep both the air assets in the air and majority of the vessels out there,” Mr Togher said.
So far the search has included 11 vessels covering 400sqkm, and three helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft searching approximately three times as much area.
No emergency calls had been received from any of the occupants on board.
Reports suggest the vessel was equipped with full emergency equipment on board.
“We would expect that we would have found some trace of the vessel, but thats not to say that the vessel hasn’t drifted,” he said.
Mr Togher said there will be a progression towards a search and recovery operation.
“We will keep searching until we have no likelihood of either rescue or recovery,”
“Through to this evening and tomorrow at the very minimum,” he stated.
Water Police would like to hear from anyone who may have been boating at Rottnest Island yesterday and observed a 5.5m vessel with four persons onboard.
The Water Police can be contacted on 9442 8600.