The Alcobri yacht washed up on the rocks at Mooloolaba.
The Alcobri yacht washed up on the rocks at Mooloolaba. Warren Lynam

Search for missing skipper ends in heartbreak

UPDATE 10AM: 

SEARCHERS looking for a skipper believed to be missing after a yacht washed ashore this morning have made a heartbreaking find.

The Daily understands a body has been found in the water during a search this morning.

Search crews had been scouring local waters for a person missing from a yacht which ran aground with no one aboard at Mooloolaba Beach just before 8am.

Investigations are continuing.

Sources told the Daily the skipper was found about 500m off Maroochydore beach by a surf rescue patrol from Mooloolaba.

It was understood some beachgoers may have seen the skipper get knocked off around Pincushion Island.

The body found was understood to have had safety gear still attached.

EARLIER:

A SEARCH is about to get underway this morning for a suspected missing skipper, after a yacht washed up on Mooloolaba Beach.

Witnesses reported seeing the yacht washed up on the rocks on Mooloolaba main beach, in front of the old caravan park site just before 8am.

There was no sign of anyone on board.

Authorities have commenced a search after a yacht washed up on Mooloolaba Beach this morning.
Authorities have commenced a search after a yacht washed up on Mooloolaba Beach this morning. Nicky Moffat

District Duty Officer Acting Senior Sergeant Jimmy Driver said surf lifesavers alerted police to the yacht and were concerned there was "at least one person overboard".

The vessel, which is registered in Washington in the US, was travelling in a south-westerly direction off Hervey Bay before it washed ashore.

Snr-Sgt Driver said there was documentation on-board relating to a US national. 

"We're just currently in the beginning phases of conducting a search ... for any persons that may be overboard," he said.

Police are making inquiries with the Department of Home Affairs to find out who was on-board.

Hervey Bay water police are assisting with the search while local water police are searching off Coolum for a man believed to have fallen from a fishing trawler early this morning.

Snr-Sgt Driver said anyone walking along the beach should be mindful of anything that may have washed ashore, including life jackets.

"Obviously if you come across any persons ... and it's an emergency call triple-0," he said.

Beachgoers are reportedly panicking as the search commences for the missing skipper.
Beachgoers are reportedly panicking as the search commences for the missing skipper. Nicky Moffat

Mooloolaba Coast Guard deputy commander and senior skipper Rod Ashlin said he was preparing to take police out now.

He said they would start the search "close in" to the stricken vessel, in the hope they may spot the skipper if they fell overboard shortly before the boat ran aground.

A police spokesman said it was looking "very scary" for the missing fisher and updates would be provided as soon as they were available.


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