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No result in search for missing Gillards swimmer, Friday is another day

Ian Campbell 15 August 2019
Police say the search has been downgraded tonight and will be reassessed in the morning. Photo: Bega Valley SES Units.

Police say the search has been downgraded tonight and will be reassessed in the morning. Photo: Bega Valley SES Units.

A Victorian man remains missing after a day of searching along the coastline between Bermagui and Tathra.

The 42-year-old was reported missing from Gillards Beach late yesterday (August 14). The man’s brother raising the alarm after finding his sibling’s belongings on the sand after not returning from a swim.

Weather conditions at the time were fine with a slight northerly breeze and moderate sea-swells.

Seven members of Bega SES and two from Bermagui took part in the search. Photo: Bega Valley SES Units Facebook.

Seven members of Bega SES and two from Bermagui took part in the search. Photo: Bega Valley SES Units Facebook.

Police and volunteer lifesavers made it to the isolated spot in the Mimosa Rocks National Park just before dark. Inflatable rescue boats, jetskis and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drone were all deployed along with a NSW Ambulance helicopter and PolAir.

Dye packs were deployed in the water where the missing man’s belongings were found to work out the direction of the sea current in an effort to focus the search and rescue effort – but with no result.

A Victorian man remains missing after a day of searching along the coastline between Bermagui and Tathra. Photo: Bega Valley SES Units Facebook.

A Victorian man remains missing after a day of searching along the coastline between Bermagui and Tathra. Photo: Bega Valley SES Units Facebook.

The search resumed this morning with the additional support of the State Emergency Service from Bega and Bermagui, Marine Rescue NSW out of Merimbula and Bermagui, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Michelle De Friskbom from Bega Valley SES says seven members of the Bega unit and two from Bermagui spent the day with police and National Parks staff combing the beach and bush tracks on foot and checking 4WD trails.

“There was a relative of the man at the beach when we arrived this morning,” she says.

“And it just makes you want to really find something even more – something that helps the family.

“It was a full-on day, we covered a lot of ground on foot but it was a fantastic multi-agency response.”

Marine Rescue Merimbula and Bermagui were part of the effort at sea. Photo: Marine Rescue Merimbula Facebook.

Marine Rescue Merimbula and Bermagui were part of the effort at sea. Photo: Marine Rescue Merimbula Facebook.

Police say the search has been downgraded tonight and will be reassessed in the morning.

“We are on standby and there if they need us,” Ms De Friskbom says.

"It was a fantastic multi-agency response." Photo: Marine Rescue Merimbula Facebook.

“It was a fantastic multi-agency response.” Photo: Marine Rescue Merimbula Facebook.

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