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.