Hopes fade for men
By CRAIG McTEAR
THEIR boat has been found, but there's still no sign of two men lost at sea off the Coffs Coast.
Police divers late yesterday confirmed an object on the ocean floor, only 100 metres north-east of Mullaway Headland, was the men's runabout which had capsized on Saturday night off Arrawarra.
Salvage crews plan to bring the stricken five-metre fibreglass Seafarer, which has a damaged hull, to the surface today.
A local diver checking his lobster pots on Monday alerted authorities to what appeared to be a submerged boat, while an anchor had already been discovered close by.
Police say the chances of finding alive the two missing men, 39 and 43, are remote, considering the amount of time which has now elapsed.
"Based on medical evidence, the likelihood of their being alive if they've remained in the water is very slim," Sergeant Tony Hill from the State Marine Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre said.
The men's two fishing companions, aged 33 and 23, clambered ashore at Mullaway Beach three or more hours after Saturday night's mishap. The four of them had set off from Arrawarra Beach that afternoon.
Coffs Harbour Water Police and Woolgoolga Volunteer Sea Rescue continued patrols of the coastline yesterday for any signs of the men, or flotsam.
Two eskies, a lifejacket and other items have already been found floating off Woolgoolga.