Prawn trawler refloated
The father of one of the two crewmen still missing after their prawn trawler sank off the Pilbara in July says he is “empty-handed and broken-hearted” after the vessel was refloated on Friday.
The delicate eight-day mission to recover the Returner ended and the vessel brought in to shore on the weekend.
Returner was due in Point Samson on July 15 after setting off for a 10-day prawn fishing trip.
A transponder monitoring the boat stopped working about 1am on July 11 and it is believed it sank about that time, with skipper and owner Murray Turner, 57, and crew Chad Fairley, 30, and his friend Mason Carter, 26, aboard.
Returner was found on July 29 with Mr Turner’s body inside.
Mr Fairley and Mr Carter have not been found.
A police spokesman said the vessel would be towed to a secure marine facility for examination.
Mr Fairley’s father, Alan, said a thorough search of the boat found no sign of his son or Mr Carter.
“We are just devastated, we are not going to be able to see the kids again,” he said.
“We’ve got nothing to put to rest and in the back of your mind, because of the type of boys they were, you think at some crazy stage they are going to come back and walk through the door.”
Police are investigating on behalf of the Coroner what caused the boat to sink.
Mr Fairley said he hoped the investigation did not take too long “so changes can be made” before it was too late.
“They were in a bay with plenty of activity, it’s not as if they were in a remote or deep-sea area,” he said.
“I just hope the coroner comes to a solution.
“It’s never going to be infallible but I don’t want to see anyone else go through this. This is the worst place we’ve ever been.
“It’s no fun, it’s changed our life for good.
“It’s just a nightmare.”
The Returner was brought back to the surface after months under water.