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Four men still missing after divers clear trawler wreck

FOUR MISSING: Inspector Darren Somerville addresses the media outside Gladstone Police Station.
FOUR MISSING: Inspector Darren Somerville addresses the media outside Gladstone Police Station. Andrew Thorpe

THE FAMILIES of four of the six men presumed dead after their fishing trawler Dianne sank at Bustard Bay last Monday night may have to leave Gladstone without closure.

Police divers searching the wreck, which was located by sonar at Bustard Bay two to three nautical miles off Round Hill Headland, recovered two bodies from the debris-filled boat yesterday afternoon.

The search continued at first light today, but divers were able to clear the wreck and found no trace of the remaining four men.

Inspector Darren Somerville said the find meant four of the families would be unable to find proper closure.

"The families are still upset... it doesn't really change that they have lost their loved ones," he said.

"It just changes that we've been unable to locate the bodies.

"The time-frame for survival expired some time ago, and that time-frame was whether they were in the vessel or in the water."

The identities of the two men who have been found are yet to be publicly released, but police confirmed they were part of the trawler's seven-man crew.

Inspector Somerville said police now had "no idea" what happened to the remaining four men.

"Obviously we know what happened with the vessel turning over and sinking... we have one survivor and as far as he knew there were six (other) persons in the vessel," he said.

"He was unsure that they had not escaped the same as he had, so at this stage we don't know where the remaining four people are."

Inspector Somerville said police vessels would resume the search for the four men tomorrow using sonar in the waters around where the Dianne was located.

A land and air-based search of nearby coast lines using fixed-wing aircraft and other vehicles will also resume.

A coronial investigation is now under way in to how the Dianne capsized and sank.

Topics:  editors picks missing person missing trawler police divers search and rescue trawler


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