Police still hoping to find missing sailor alive

The Percy Islands, where the man was reported missing.
The Percy Islands, where the man was reported missing.

UPDATE Friday 8.50am: Police have tasked the RACQ CQ Rescue again for a search around the Percy Isles for a skilled yachtsman reported missing on Monday morning.

UPDATE, Thursday 4.45pm: The search for missing man Trent Anstee at Middle Percy Island was scaled back this afternoon before being suspended at 3pm.

Police had been coordinating the search since Monday morning after learning the Sunshine Coast man had gone overboard off a sailing catamaran while it was moored close to Middle Percy Island.

A final aerial sweep will be conducted Friday morning.

The missing man's family have been kept up-to-date throughout the operation and have been advised of these latest developments.

The Coroner has also been advised of the suspension of the search and police will subsequently submit a report on the matter.

UPDATE Thursday 7.30am: A police media spokeswoman confirmed the search for missing sailor Trent Anstee is due to resume today.

Police, RACQ CQ Rescue, divers and Volunteer Marine Rescue have all participated in the search for Mr Anstee, who was reported missing on Monday.

The 39-year-old man was reported missing at 6.30am on Monday, when others on aboard the vessel, moored near Middle Percy Island, woke to find him gone.

A search for him has been underway since Monday.

RACQ CQ Rescue will search for missing sailor Trent Anstee who went missing around the Percy Islands. A search for Mr Anstee has been underway since Monday.
RACQ CQ Rescue will search for missing sailor Trent Anstee who went missing around the Percy Islands. A search for Mr Anstee has been underway since Monday. Contributed

UPDATE Wednesday 4.20pm: The search for Trent Anstee who went missing from a yacht moored at Middle Percy Island will be scaled back at midday tomorrow.

The third day of search failed to find any trace of the experienced sailor.

He was sailing south aboard the yacht Predator when it stopped at the island to wait out bad weather.

According to police, the diver operation was completed this afternoon without success.

Volunteer Marine Rescue and Police were searching around the islands on Wednesday close to where the sailor disappeared.

A police spokeswoman said the search would resume tomorrow, but would be scaled back at midday if there was no new information.

UPDATE Wednesday 6.30am: Whitsunday Water Police have started their 'first light' search for missing man Trent Anstee.

A police spokesman said two vessels were searching for the man around Middle Percy Island.

Mr Anstee went missing on Monday from a catamaran.

>> Missing 39-year-old man well-known in sailing circles

UPDATE Tuesday 9.30am: Four police divers from Whitsunday are in the water this morning as the search resumes for missing man Trent Anstee who went missing from the catamaran Predator Monday morning.

The boat was moored a few hundred metres from shore and an unsuccessful land search at Middle Percy Island, south-east of Mackay on Monday, is also resumingTuesday morning.

Mr Anstee is a member of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club and is an experienced sailor.

Missing man Trent Anstee.
Missing man Trent Anstee. Contributed RCC

VMR Whitsunday is also on the scene, along with a Coast Guard boat from Yeppoon.

A police source said the search teams were hoping to find Mr Anstee alive.

RACQ-CQ Rescue was involved in two searches Monday, but at this stage has not been asked to conduct aerial searches.

The crew searched for about two and a half hours Monday, returning to base about 4.45pm.

UPDATE: POLICE divers will resume the search at first light tomorrow for a 39-year-old Sunshine Coast man.

The 39-year-old is believed to have been travelling with a Bowen man when he fell overboard, between 8pm Sunday and 2am Monday.

The pair was on board a sailing catamaran called Predator that was moored near Middle Percy Island, 70 nautical miles south-east of Mackay. It's believed they were en route to Mooloolaba.

Despite an extensive aerial and sea search on Monday, the man has not been located.

Police divers arrived in Mackay Monday afternoon, and will be transported to Middle Percy Island tonight, before entering the water Tuesday morning.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the disappearance.

UPDATE 3.10pm: POLICE have confirmed a man missing at sea after falling from a sailing catamaran is from Minyama on the Sunshine Coast.

The RACQ Rescue helicopter has been sent back out to search the western side of the island.

A crew member said due to the strong currents, the man could now be miles away.

Middle Percy Island off the Mackay coast
Middle Percy Island off the Mackay coast Rowan Hunnam

UPDATE: Police investigators have been flown by charter helicopter to Middle Percy Island and boarded the catamaran from which a man was reported missing Monday morning.

The investigators arrived at the vessel, called Predator, at 11am.

The search, which is being co-ordinated by the Queensland Police Service, is focussed on the area around Middle Percy Island at this stage.

Middle Percy Island off the Mackay coast
Middle Percy Island off the Mackay coast Rowan Hunnam

EARLIER: Four fixed wing aircraft and three boats are on their way to the Percy Islands, to look for a man who fell overboard from a catamaran.

The 39-year-old man was reported missing at 6.30am Monday, when others on aboard the vessel, moored near Middle Percy Island, woke to find him gone.

The island is 70 nautical miles south-east of Mackay, or a 35-minute flight.

Middle Percy Island off the Mackay coast
Middle Percy Island off the Mackay coast Rowan Hunnam

RACQ-CQ Rescue was tasked to search the western side of Middle Percy Island area at 7am, and returned after two hours.

The helicopter crew reported strong currents, strong winds and rough conditions.

However, visibility from the helicopter was good.

The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter returned to refuel and is now awaiting further instruction from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Three vessels, including at least one from Volunteer Marine Rescue, and four fixed wing aircraft, believed to be from the Coast Guard are en route to the islands.

Anyone with information that could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

More to come.

Topics:  middle percy island racq cq rescue search and rescue sunshine coast

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