Police divers find woman's body

POLICE divers have found the body of missing Sydney woman Doris Wibowo on the charter boat that capsized in the Whitsundays during a severe storm late Tuesday.

Ms Wibowo, 31, was one of 12 people on board fishing charter vessel Rapture when it capsized at turtle Bay, at the southern end of Whitsunday Island.

A full-scale sea search of the area on Wednesday found no trace of the woman.

The divers arrived in the Whitsundays at noon and began their search in the afternoon. The boat, which was still overturned, had been moored to a buoy.

A post mortem will be conducted on Thursday. Police are treating the death as non-suspicious.


Search fails to find woman

A PATHOLOGIST is weighing up the chances of missing tourist Doris Wibowo surviving after she was washed from a capsized boat in the Whitsundays late Tuesday.

Ms Wibowo's distraught partner joined emergency service personnel in the search for the 31-year-old Sydney resident yesterday.

The couple was on the 30-foot charter fishing vessel, Rapture, when it capsized about 4.30pm Tuesday during a severe storm.

Two helicopters, a fixed-wing plane, Whitsunday and Townsville water police officers, three VMR vessels and several private boats scoured the area Wednesday and the search is set to resume at first light Thursday morning.

Mackay district police Inspector Andy Graham said late Wednesday several crews were still searching the area to ensure "no stone was left unturned".

"We have used tidal maps to plot which way the current was travelling and have found a number of debris items," Insp Graham said.

Finding debris was a fairly good indication searchers were on the right track, he said. Police divers arrived in the Whitsundays around noon yesterday ready to check the overturned vessel.

"We have reports from people on board that some people took refuge in the cabin while the storm was on... it is a possibility that she could have become trapped inside the cabin," Insp Graham said.

A meeting was scheduled Wednesday night to discuss the best way to proceed.

"We have a pathologist who is working on determining how long a person can survive in the water," he said.

The 12 people on board the Rapture were thrown into the water in Turtle Bay, at the southern end of Whitsunday Island, when it overturned.

Insp Graham said, weather permitting, the next step would be to lift the boat, which had been moored to a buoy, out of the water with a crane.

The RACQ-CQ Rescue helicopter searched Wednesday until bad weather forced it to return to Mackay. An Australian Maritime Rescue Service Authority fixed-wing aircraft continued searching but also had to return due to the weather conditions.

"We are not sure if we will have the air resources tomorrow but we will still have vessels searching on the water," Insp Graham said.



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