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Search continues for men lost at sea

Two missing men and a boat remain at large in South Australian waters south of Port Lincoln with the search continuing on Tuesday. Derek Robinson, 48, and Tony Higgins, 57, left Coffin Bay in the nine-metre fishing boat – named Margrel – about 3pm on Thursday, bound for Goolwa.They were last heard from a friend…

Two missing men and a boat remain at large in South Australian waters south of Port Lincoln with the search continuing on Tuesday.

Derek Robinson, 48, and Tony Higgins, 57, left Coffin Bay in the nine-metre fishing boat – named Margrel – about 3pm on Thursday, bound for Goolwa.

They were last heard from a friend on Friday who contacted police on Sunday, sparking the exploration.

The search halted at about 8pm on Monday and began at about 7.30am on Tuesday.

SA Police’s Water Operations Unit and helicopter patrols will be assisted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Mr Higgins, who has skipper experience, and Mr Robinson are both from the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Their friends and family took to Facebook to express their concerns.

Mr Robinson’s brother, Ian, said: “We are all hopeful that Derek and (his friend) are found,” he wrote.

A friend wrote: “I hope you are both found okay and safe. There’s a lot of people worried for you.”

Officer in charge of the Eyre and Western local service area Superintendent Paul Bahr said Tuesday’s weather conditions were better than Monday’s strong winds.

“The search area today, we’ll be concentrating on some of the islands in some of those areas (near the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island) and doing a closer search of those,” he said on ABC Radio Adelaide.

“There is a lot of science behind these searches. On Sunday when we were first alerted to the missing boat, AMSA did deploy a lot of sounding buoys into the ocean in that area, so they’re well aware of the drift and current patterns and are applying a lot of sciences to where they deploy the aerial search.

“We’ll continue to assess and reassess where we are at with the information we have at hand. At this stage we’re still hopeful the boat is intact, and we’re continuing to search for that vessel.”

So far, 103,707 square kilometres have been searched.

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