World news – Search for people spins in crocodile-infested waters

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UPDATE: The search for missing Cairns yachtsman Andy Heard in the Hinchinbrook Island area has allegedly revealed human remains.

At 10:30 am, the Queensland Police Department, in collaboration with the Department of Environments and science wildlife officers, made the announcement that a comprehensive sea search was being carried out.

At around 5 a.m. on Friday, police contacted the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for advice and assistance after a damaged 2.5 meter long dingy went upside down near the mouth of Gayundah Creek on the southwest side of Hinchinbrook Island had found.

On Friday, wildlife officers said it was « very likely » that the missing seaman may have been captured by a saltwater crocodile after markings were found on his upturned tender.

A police spokesman said in simple terms that some human remains had been found, but the search for more of the missing man’s remains will continue today.

Searchers have searched for what is considered human remains with the help of @QldEnvironment and others and are continuing to search for the missing man. 🔗https: //t.co/5JXTkVKQBp pic.twitter.com/NOwsRVH05y

While sailing around the area with partner Erica Lang aboard their ship Shiraz, the alarm was raised when Mr Heard undertook the delicate fishing of the boat on Thursday but never returned

Dayna Russell of Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron said the club’s flags were flying at half mast this morning.

« In some ways we’re relieved that they found his body, but we’re devastated because (Mr. Heard’s partner) Erica and she lost their best buddy, » she said.

« He was always the first to lend a hand, and one of the guys said today that he was like a father figure to a lot of people in our club, that he was the old Saltie dog.

« We raised the flags to half-mast and brought Andy and what meant to us a few flowers to cheer. »

A joint spokesman for the Queensland Police Service and the Department of Environment and Science said the remains found were believed to belong to the missing 69-year-old Yachtie.

« Police believe the remains are the missing person’s, but forensic testing is required to confirm this, » he said.

Police continue to search the area with the assistance of state rescue volunteers, coast guard personnel, DES officials and local fishermen.

Previously: A lifelong member of the Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron who went missing off Hinchinbrook Island was identified as a passionate Cairns yacht enthusiast Andy Heard.

While sailing through the area with partner Erica Lang aboard their ship Shiraz, the alarm sounded when Mr Heard took over the tender fishing of the boat on Thursday. but never returned.

At around 5 a.m. on Friday, police contacted the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for advice and assistance after a damaged 2.5 meter long dingy went upside down near the mouth of Gayundah Creek on the southwest side of Hinchinbrook Island had found.

Dayna Russell of Cairns Cruising Yacht Squadron, overwhelmed with grief, said the beloved club member’s situation was dire.

« The club are really disappointed. Everyone will be here for Erica when she comes back, » she said.

Wildlife officials raised concerns that Mr Heard could have been caught by a saltwater crocodile after tracks were found in its flipped offering.

« He went fishing at 3pm. I stayed up all night and then I heard they found the tender but no Andy, » said Ms. Russell.

Ms. Russell said Mr. Heard’s son had traveled to help locate the missing yacht, which has not yet been found.

Acting inspector of the Cairns Police Department Andrew Cowie said Friday morning authorities are considering « any questions » when asked whether a crocodile could have been involved.

« There are a number of environmental hazards in this area, » he said. « Our priority right now is to find him.

Wildlife Officer Ren Bone said that « we believe a crocodile is involved » because of the damage.

Hinchinbrook’s waters are known for their populations of saltwater crocodiles and sharks. Local fishermen, SES, coast guards and DES support the police in the search.

Originally published as Search for Cairns, Yachtie shows up in crocodile infested waters

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