Fears for three fishermen missing off FNQ coast
A SEARCH has been launched for three men reported missing after failing to return from a fishing trip in the Far North.
Water police are co-ordinating the search for the men, aged 18, 27 and 37, who were due back in Yarrabah on Tuesday afternoon.
They had set out on a 4.8m white centre console aluminium vessel with a blue bimini canopy, registration VO317Q earlier Tuesday.
The trio was last seen about 8.30am on the same day at a reef off Green Island where they appeared to be having engine trouble.
They have not been heard from since.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Volunteer Marine Rescue and aerial assets including a fixed wing aircraft and three helicopters have also been assisting with the search around Little Fitzroy Island and Cape Tribulation.
The search, which started this morning, is spanning almost 1,700 square nautical miles.
The AMSA Response Centre issued an emergency broadcast to shipping in the area this morning.
Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Cairns Flotilla Commander Terry Spurrier said there was real concern about the safety of the missing trio.
"There is always grave concern when there is a missing person action on us," he said.
"We have no details about whether they have food and water, the quicker we can locate these guys the better."
It's understood the missing boat is not equipped with an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB.)
The Cairns Coast Guard Cairns Flotilla had one boat involved in the search which was currently focused on an area off Yorkeys Knob.
"We are looking at the winds and currents going north; that's why the search is in that area," he said.
"And Port Douglas may be asked to join the search.
"The wind is starting to come up but conditions are favourable at the moment. We will continue to search and if it goes into the night we may bring out the larger vessel."
Originally published as Fears for three fishermen missing off FNQ coast