DIFFICULT OPERATION: Inspector Darren Somerville at Round Hill Headland.
DIFFICULT OPERATION: Inspector Darren Somerville at Round Hill Headland. Andrew Thorpe

UPDATE: Police divers leave scene of sunken trawler

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POLICE divers left the scene of the Dianne after yesterday's confirmation there were no bodies underneath the sunken vessel.

Efforts to rig the boat to be lifted out of the water continued today despite a brief but intense storm.

"It will continue later into the week and possibly into the weekend," Inspector Darren Somerville told The Observer this afternoon.

"There's going to be a fair bit of wind later in the week so they may have to sit that out."

 

MONDAY | 7.03PM

Salvage crew divers have managed to roll the sunken trawler Dianne off the coast of 1770.

The vessel had been lying on its roof and needed to be righted before it can be lifted to the surface and towed to Bundaberg over the coming days.

A police spokesman confirmed the area underneath the vessel had been searched by police divers and no bodies had been found.

The operation is ongoing and will continue tomorrow, weather permitting.

 

 

TRAGEDY: The community memorial to the Dianne's crew at Round Hill Headland.
TRAGEDY: The community memorial to the Dianne's crew at Round Hill Headland. Andrew Thorpe

SUNDAY | 3.22pm

THE SALVAGE operation for the fishing vessel Dianne commenced yesterday off the 1770 coast - but poor weather is again hampering police in their attempt to find definitive answers to what happened the night it sank in Bustard Bay.

Salvage crew divers are currently attempting to rig the boat to allow it to be turned over on the ocean floor, a process that has been going on since yesterday morning.

The Dianne is lying on its roof under 30 metres of water, about five nautical miles off Round Hill Headland.

Inspector Darren Somerville said progress so far was slow, but today represented the best chance the crew had to right the boat.

"(The operation) is very weather-dependent, and after today the weather appears to be getting worse," Insp Somerville said.

"The vessel's obviously quite heavy, it's in 30 metres of water, and then also the tide affects it, the swell affects it, and the wind.

"It could be a number of days until we see the vessel re-floated."

Once the Dianne is brought to the surface, it will need to be pumped out and made safe before it can be towed to Bundaberg Marina.

It will then be lifted out of the water to be inspected by police and Maritime Safety Queensland.

The bodies of two men were located inside the vessel in the days following its sinking.

They were later identified as 30-year-old fisherman Adam Hoffmann and the Dianne's skipper, 45-year-old Ben Leahy.

Four remaining crew members - Adam Bidner, Zachary Feeney, Chris Sammut and Eli Tonks - remain unaccounted for.

Fisherman Ruben McDornan was the sole survivor.

 

5 MILES OUT: The barge and tugboat sitting over the wreck of the Dianne are faintly visible from the 1770 coast.
5 MILES OUT: The barge and tugboat sitting over the wreck of the Dianne are faintly visible from the 1770 coast. Andrew Thorpe

Inspector Somerville said the families of the trawler's crew were being informed of each development in the operation.

"They're obviously very keen to see why this event happened, why the vessel rolled over, and we're hopeful that we can give them as many answers as possible by re-floating it," he said.

"We do hope that we can find those four people... our divers are fairly confident that the vessel itself has been cleared, however they weren't able to check underneath the vessel.

"Once it's on the surface it will be a lot easier to search again through the vessel but also where it lies on the seabed.

"It's been a long operation and very emotional for many of the police involved."



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