Decision today on search for missing man

A DECISION will be made today about whether to call off the search for missing Chinderah man Sean Staunton, feared drowned in the Tweed River.

A New South Wales police spokesperson said police divers had continued searching for the 35-year-old yesterday without any result.

"They'll probably make a determination regarding the future of the search in the morning," the spokesperson said.

Mr Staunton's five-year-old son was found floating unconscious in the river about 3.15pm on Thursday and pulled to safety by an off-duty nurse.

He was resuscitated and taken to Brisbane's Mater Hospital in a serious condition. His condition is now described as stable.

A full-scale search was launched following the discovery of the boy, and a small dinghy which the pair had been fishing in was found submerged at low-tide on Friday.

Point Danger Volunteer Marine Rescue spokesperson Lock Olsen said VMR had not been involved since the boat was found.

"When they found the boat and realised they were looking for a possible body, they called us off the search and brought in the divers," Mr Olsen said.

The divers' efforts were hampered by bad weather on Saturday and nothing had been found by yesterday afternoon.

Police officers have interviewed two fishermen who retrieved Mr Staunton's submerged dinghy and want to hear from other people who may have seen the father and son.

Witnesses said neither Mr Staunton nor his son were wearing lifejackets, and one fisherman, who saw the pair before they headed out onto the river, said Mr Staunton ignored warnings to put a lifejacket on the boy.

A Mater Hospital spokeswoman said the yesterday the boy was doing "really well".

The boy has talked to police and his mother, but full details of what happened in the river remain a mystery.

The Tweed River operation is the second time Mr Staunton has been the focus of a major search in recent weeks. In May, he was plucked to safety by a helicopter after becoming lost while bushwalking in the Gold Coast hinterland.



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