03/06/2014 - Search for missing Trio

AN air search has been launched this morning in the far north of the state for three people from a remote Aboriginal community who failed to return from a fishing trip late yesterday.  The trio, from Kalumburu Aboriginal community, 3000km north of Perth on the King Edward River, went out yesterday morning in a 4m aluminium dinghy but failed to return.

Those missing include the manager of the Kalumburu general store and a New Zealand couple. The trio, two men and a woman, left at about 7.30am from the barge beach north of the Kalumburu community, which is home to about 300 indigenous residents and about 50 Government and support workers.  They were supposed to return at 3pm yesterday.

The boat was skippered by a 53-year-old man. It is believed it was equipped with life-jackets and flares, but Water Police expressed concerns the boat did not have a EPIRB or radio.  Senior Constable Steve O’Meara, of WA Water Police, said the missing trio could be anywhere in a vast network of shallow bays, creeks and rivers.
“It’s quite difficult to find people at times, there’s lots of little hideaways,” he said.  Sen. Const. O’Meara said police were very concerned for the welfare of those on board.

A local plane and a local boat have joined the search, along with another search plane from Darwin.  The area is 400 nautical miles from the nearest volunteer sea rescue station at Wyndham.  Police and locals from Kalumburu are also searching for the boat and the three missing fishers. Anyone with information in relation to this incident is asked to call Police on 131444.

At this time the SESVA has not been advised of SES Volunteer involvement in the search