Night Crossing fishing charters leaves from Gladstone every Friday.
Night Crossing fishing charters leaves from Gladstone every Friday. Contributed

UPDATE: Police say deckhand 'could not have survived'

3.44PM: THE SEARCH for missing Sunshine Coast man Jeff Costar has been suspended, with police today failing to find any sign of the missing man.

Police announced the decision this afternoon after consulting with other agencies and briefing Mr Costar's family.

Mr Costar was last seen on Sunday at 2am aboard fishing charter boat the MV Night Crossing. He was reported missing two hours later.

Police said the decision to suspend the search was based on expert advice which suggests he could not have survived this long in the water.

The search area, at Swain Reefs about 200km north-east of Yeppoon, has been thoroughly searched from the sea and air in the days since Mr Costar's disappearance was discovered.

 

 

TUESDAY 9.39AM: SEARCH and rescue crews are still scouring a large area off the Yeppoon coast this morning for missing man, Jeff Costar after he vanished from a fishing charter early Sunday morning.

Queensland Police Service issued an update around 9am today stating the search 200km off the coast at Swain Reefs was ongoing.

Mr Costar was last seen on the fishing charter, Night Crossing around 2am Sunday morning. He was reported missing to police around 4am.

The 35-year-old deckhand was among four crew and 17 passengers on the Gladstone boat on a week-long fishing trip to the reef.

 

MISSING MAN: Jeff Costar went missing from the MV Night Crossing early on May 6 at Swain Reefs.
MISSING MAN: Jeff Costar went missing from the MV Night Crossing early on May 6 at Swain Reefs. Facebook

A former co-worker, Hamish Fairweather, hoped Mr Costar would be found safe saying he is a "legend" and "always made the week go quick".

After an extensive search on Sunday involving dozens of vessels, the search was scaled back yesterday to one commercial boat and two police boats.

With good weather predicted today, a spokesperson from QPS said police were assessing what the next steps would be in the rescue mission.

A forecaster from Bureau of Meteorology said weather was on their side as the search continued today.

South-easterly winds around 10 to 15 knots was expected for the search area today as rain began to ease.

The forecaster said swell around 1-2m was also expected.

WHAT WE KNOW

The moment he went missing

  • On Saturday, charter boat, the Night Crossing, was anchored for the night 200km north-east of Yeppoon where the 35-year-old deck hand was last seen at 2am.
  • The skipper raised the alarm at 4am after the man could not be found and a search began at first light on Sunday.
  • Owner Raymond Gleeson told 7 News, "I just don't know what to say, we are all in shock and we are doing everything possible".

 

CUSTOM COMFORT: The Night Crossing was purpose built for extended fishing trips out to the reefs from Gladstone. Photos: Contributed
CUSTOM COMFORT: The Night Crossing was purpose built for extended fishing trips out to the reefs from Gladstone. Photos: Contributed

Who is the missing man?

  • Jeffrey Costa, known by crew as Jeff
  • Former co-worker, Hamish Fairweather, said Jeff is a "legend" and "always made the week go quick".
  • Police have reported the man's family have been notified of his disappearance.
  • He was working as a deck hand on the Night Crossing along with three other crew members when he went missing.

The weather conditions he faces

  • A Bureau of Meteorology forecaster said there was good news for the search mission as rains eased today
  • Sunny breaks were expected in between clouds and 10-15 knot winds were expected off shore
  • These conditions were better compared to the tough conditions on Sunday with rescuers up against "roughly 20 knot winds and rain squalls".
  • Winds at the nearest observation point on Sunday were around 20 knots with some gusts between 30-35 knots.

 

The search so far

  • During the first day of the search, four aircraft, three commercial vessels, six dories and a water police boat were searching a 96km by 138km area near Swain Reefs for site of the missing deck hand.
  • Yesterday the search has been scaled back with two police boats and one commercial boat searching the same area.
  • The area is too far out of reach for rescue helicopters to venture without needing to refuel.
  • Boaties in the area have been urged to keep an eye out for signs of the missing man.

Where is Swain Reefs?

  • Swain Reefs in 200km north-east of Yeppoon in Central Queensland.
  • Some parts of the reef can be exposed at low tide.
  • The area is about 120 nautical miles offshore from where the Night Crossing departs.

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