Missing Hinchinbrook fisherman named as Cairns yachtie – TropicNow


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12/02/2021 - 10: 00

The missing fisherman has been identified as Andy Heard.
TROPIC EXCLUSIVEUPDATE 5.45PM: The missing fisherman has been named as Andy Heard – a long-time resident at the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron (CCYS). CCYS's Ebonee Read said Mr Heard's son travelled to Cardwell overnight to assist with the search and support his father's partner, Erica Lang.She said other members who are rallying to help Ms Lang sail the pair's yacht back to Cairns remain hopeful."We're trying to stay positive" Ms Read told Tropic Now."Everyone around here is sticking together."We're all having a drink for Andy today."Department of Environment and Science experts say it’s “highly likely” a crocodile was involved in the man’s disappearance after his tinny was found early this morning with significant damage.A source told Tropic Now Mr Heard's tender was found with a huge chunk missing from its side and his fishing rod was found destroyed in mangroves. The search is expected to continue well into the weekend.EARLIER: Police are continuing their search for a man missing after failing to return from a fishing trip in the Hinchinbrook Island area.The 69-year-old went fishing around 3pm yesterday in Gayundah Creek and was expected back an hour later.The only item that’s been located is the man’s upturned two metre boat in the early hours of this morning.

Police say the man’s wife contacted police at around 8.30pm when he failed to return and was unable to be reached via radio.

The missing fisherman has now been named as Cairns yachtie Andy Heard.
A search operation was immediately launched. Police located a two-metre tinny at around 2.30am this morning fairly close to the shore. Acting Inspector Andrew Cowie said the tender, which was attached to a mother vessel, was found with “significant damage”.“He was reasonably experienced … he was a boatie,” Insp Cowie said.“We have significant concerns due to the environmental conditions imposed by that area. “As long as there’s a chance that he’s alive (the search) will continue.”Isp Cowie urged that anyone in the area keep an eye out for the missing man, particularly along the coastline. “The only thing that he had with him is a radio ... as far as we can tell," Insp Cowie said.  "It's very important to remind people that when you do go out into a marine environment that you have your full safety complement."(This is) an EPIRB, flares and safety equipment that will assist you in survival under fairly harsh and extreme circumstances." If you have information for police, contact Policelink. MORE TO COME

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