Australia

Missing SA fishermen found alive after days lost at sea

Just hours after a major search was called off, two fishermen, missing off the South Australian coast for almost a week, have miraculously been confirmed as alive.Derek Robinson, 48, and Tony Higgins, 57, contacted their families and Victor Harbour Police Station overnight to tell them they were OK.The duo is believed to be sailing near…

Just hours after a major search was called off, two fishermen, missing off the South Australian coast for almost a week, have miraculously been confirmed as alive.

Derek Robinson, 48, and Tony Higgins, 57, contacted their families and Victor Harbour Police Station overnight to tell them they were OK.

The duo is believed to be sailing near Salt Creek, en route to Goolwa where they initially intended to travel before experiencing some engine trouble.

Police said they departed Coffin Bay in a 30-foot wooden hulled fishing boat about 3pm last Thursday before reporting engine troubles to a friend late on Friday evening.

Mr Robinson and Mr Higgins planned to divert to Kangaroo Island but no word had been heard from them since. A friend raised the alarm on Sunday sparking a massive search mission covering an area larger than Tasmania.

There were several weather warnings in place creating treacherous conditions.

Eyre Western LSA officer in charge Superintendent Paul Bahr said conditions worsened after the weekend.

“Over the weekend, conditions were pretty benign, however … there is now a severe weather warning for that area and the wind is up near Port Lincoln where the wind is quite strong and the water is up,” he said on ABC Radio Adelaide.

“So it is going to become quite treacherous in that search area.”

SA Police suspended the search, involving the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and members of the Royal Australian Air Force, on Wednesday night after no trace of the men had been found.

A police spokesperson said the search would have resumed if debris washed up on land.

Water police are racing out to rescue the pair.

More to come.

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