News

Lifesavers won't give up on dad

Police and surf lifesavers at the command centre help scour Peregian Beach for the missing father of two.
Police and surf lifesavers at the command centre help scour Peregian Beach for the missing father of two. Brett Wortman

THE surf lifesaving season has ended, but volunteers will be back today to continue the search for a Brisbane dad missing in surf off Peregian Beach.

About 15 lifesavers from surf clubs across the Sunshine Coast put their hands up to continue looking for the missing Brisbane father of two.

They have vowed to stay out today for as long as they can.

The lifesavers will join at least 20 emergency services personnel.

The 37-year-old man was on a day trip to the Coast with his wife and seven-month-old daughter when he went missing late on Sunday.

His wife had stopped to feed the baby when the man, of German origin, entered the water for a final swim before heading home.

He has not been seen since.

While the search continued yesterday, a low-key event which had already been planned at the Coolum Beach SLSC to show respect for those who had died in the surf, called for a prayer for the family of the missing man.

About 30 volunteers from the club attended the service.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast services co-ordinator Aaron Purchase said to have volunteers put their hand up when the season was over was incredible.

"We've got at least 15 who want to help," he said.

"It's fantastic ... they've put in a great effort so far and it's great that they're willing to come back.

"There is no obligation to them. It's all volunteer work and the season is over. We're very thankful for their determination."

The 2010-11 surf lifesaving season was fatality-free. In 2009-10, two people drowned off Coast beaches.

Mr Purchase said a 49-year-old surfer's death at Moffat Beach in February was not taken into account because the victim was believed to have suffered an underlying medical condition.

District inspector Mark Henderson said the search would continue in full force at first light today.

He said beach patrols had been expected to work throughout the night.

Insp Henderson read a short statement from the family, thanking surf lifesavers, emergency services and the people of Peregian for their effort and support.

"The devoted husband and father of two will be sorely missed by family on two continents," the statement concluded.

The man's wife has been supported on the Coast by her sister and brother-in-law.

Family members in Germany have been kept up-to-date with the situation.

Insp Henderson said the search would be reassessed today.

Topics:  missing person, peregian beach, surf, surf life saving



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