TASMANIAN police and retrieval crews are struggling to raise two bodies from a plane that crashed in the sea near Hobart on Monday.
Yesterday a rope that broke caused the delay in bringing the bodies of Sam Langford, 29 and Tim Jones, 61, to the surface.
The men were killed when their Cessna 172 crashed into the sea while Mr Jones was photographing the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Mr Langford was piloting the plane.
Inspector Lee Renshaw yesterday said the retrieval team was "so close" to removing the bodies when the line probably ripped apart after getting caught on a piece of the downed aircraft.
"Unfortunately when we got it to within 15m of the stern of the (police boat) the line snapped," Insp Renshaw said.
"It has returned to the seabed."
The company behind the retrieval has left the scene and will not be able to continue its work for another day or two, Insp Renshaw said.