Fisherman Andrew Goldfinch.
Fisherman Andrew Goldfinch. NIKITA WATTS

Fisherman's death an accident

UPDATE 11am: POLICE say the death of Yeppoon commercial fisherman Andrew Goldfinch appears to have been a tragic accident.

The body of the 47-year-old was found at Waterpark Creek yesterday after an extensive search of the area.

Authorities had been searching since he was reported missing last Wednesday.

Inspector Mike Curtin said at this stage there was no suspicious circumstances.

“Our enquiries so far indicate the death may have been a tragic accident,” Insp Curtin said.

He said it was thought Mr Goldfinch’s swag was knocked out at the same time the fisherman went into the water.

The swag and body were both found several kilometres from where the boat was located last Wednesday.

Insp Curtin said with the strong tides and flows in the water this was not surprising.

He said a post mortem was expected to be undertaken on the body today.

Detectives from Yeppoon CIB will prepare a report for the coroner.

Insp Curtin thanked the many agencies and volunteers involved in the search, which lasted five days.

The boat is being mechanically tested.

Mr Goldfinch was described as an experienced and passionate commercial fisherman with a thorough knowledge of the Corio Bay area.

There had been speculation that he could have been taken by crocodiles or sharks after local fisherman reported multiple sightings of both predators in the area recently.

 

6AM: AN EXTENSIVE search for missing fisherman Andrew “Mal” Goldfinch was called off yesterday when the body of a man was discovered at Water Park Creek, near Corio Bay.

Mr Goldfinch, a commercial fisherman from Yeppoon, was last seen on his boat in Corio Bay last Tuesday afternoon.

A massive search, involving helicopter crews, Water Police, SES, Yeppoon Coast Guard and staff from Marine Parks, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Parks and Wildlife staff, was conducted after Mr Goldfinch’s tinny was found in mangroves early on Wednesday morning.

The search continued at first light yesterday, with the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue chopper concentrating on the coastline between Stockyard Point and the Capricorn Resort.

But despite the intensive official operation it was a passing fisherman who noticed the body about 8am yesterday.

The fisherman called police, who recovered the body with the aid of an SES flood boat crew.

Water Park Creek is near Corio Bay, north of Yeppoon.

A police spokesman at the major incident room set up to co-ordinate the search confirmed that it had been called off and that officers were talking to Mr Goldfinch’s relatives.

Police said yesterday afternoon that a report was being prepared for the coroner and that they wanted to thank all those involved in the search.

There had been speculation that 48-year-old Mr Goldfinch might have been taken by sharks or crocodiles after local fishermen reported multiple sightings of both predators in the area around the time of his disappearance.

Mr Goldfinch was described as an experienced and passionate commercial fisherman who loved Corio Bay.

His disappearance shocked the Capricorn Coast fishing community, which had been praying for a better outcome.



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