Kayaks found

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

THE two kayaks in­volved in the dis­ap­pear­ance of the Ja­panese man from Fitzroy Is­land were found on Batt Reef, east of Port Dou­glas on Mon­day.

The dis­cov­ery on Mon­day morn­ing comes as the search is scaled down for the man, who is now pre­sumed dead af­ter be­ing lost out to sea since Sun­day af­ter­noon.

On Sun­day, the 29-yearold em­ployee of the is­land’s re­sort was kayak­ing with a fe­male co-worker when they ran into trou­ble in 25-knot wind gusts and strong cur­rents.

Ap­par­ently the woman was thrown into the ocean and the man dived in in an at­tempt to save her but dis­ap­peared, while the woman made it back to shore and climbed over rocky and steep ter­rain to raise the alarm.

Emer­gency ser­vices searched for the man with six fixed-wing air­craft and six helicopters, along with marine ves­sels.

The search was scaled back to a sin­gle he­li­copter pa­trolling the coast­line and a sur­face ves­sel yes­ter­day and po­lice have said it is now a re­cov­ery mis­sion, believ­ing the man would not have sur­vived be­yond 20 hours in the con­di­tions.

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Russ Parker said a meet­ing would be held this morn­ing to de­ter­mine if the search will con­tinue.

‘‘The sur­viv­abil­ity fac­tor is be­com­ing less and less, they had a po­lice ves­sel out at Fitzroy Is­land in the area he went miss­ing from and the chop­per run­ning be­tween Fitzroy and Port, that has been ex­tended up to Wu­jal Wu­jal to look for the body,’’ he said.

Po­lice are still try­ing to con­tact the man’s fam­ily through the Ja­panese con­sulate.

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