12 June 2023

Napranum man dead after boat capsizes near Port Douglas reef

| Matt Nicholls
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A WELL-KNOWN Napranum man has died after the boat he was in capsized near Palm Cove on Sunday night.

Queensland Police said a group of three called emergency services about 10pm after their boat began sinking.

An air and sea search was conducted and, at about 12.45am, two men aged 24 and 26 were found and rescued near their capsized boat.

The 54-year-old man was found deceased with them.

Cape York Weekly has been asked by family members not to name the victim, who is being mourned by several local communities.

Sergeant Andrew Ibell said on Monday that the three men went out fishing late on Sunday afternoon.

“The initial information we have is the vessel capsized in rough seas and the men remained with that vessel until they were rescued,” he said.

Sergeant Ibell said the men told triple-zero operators they were near Double Island, off the Cairns coast.

“Subsequent checks of mobile phone data indicated the position was more likely to be out in the vicinity of Batt Reef,” he said.

A rescue helicopter, police vessel and volunteer marine rescue vessel were deployed to that area, off the Port Douglas coast.

The two survivors, both from the Cairns area, were wearing life jackets.

“This will be the subject of an investigation and report to the coroner,” Sergeant Ibell said at Monday’s press conference.

“We haven’t interviewed the two survivors yet at length. Obviously given the circumstances last night, we’re giving them a chance to rest before we speak to them further.”

Sergeant Ibell said the men also had an EPIRB on board but it was lost as the boat sank.

– additional reporting from ABC Far North

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