Special divers called to help search for a missing fisherman in Kinchant Dam

Specialized search and rescue divers from Brisbane have been called in to help search for a missing man in a dam in central Queensland.

The 63-year-old man was reported missing after falling out of a three-meter-long tinnie while fishing.

He had been at the Kinchant Dam campground, about 30 miles southwest of Mackay, with his wife.

Senior Sergeant Trevor Robson said the man swam a short distance after falling out and then disappeared.

“Some people who were at the scene and had boats went straight out there to try to find him,” said Snr Sgt Robson.

Together with the Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are participating in the search, as are the SES and CQ Rescue helicopter services.

“Now we’re just waiting for the divers to come so we can search the weed bed,” said Senior Sergeant Robson.

“We keep going until we find him, that’s what we do.

A man in a dark shirt and cap standing in front of a dam.
Luke Spajic says the weeds in the dam affect the search.(ABC Tropical North: Tobi Loftus)

Witnesses participate in the search

Luke Spajic was camping with friends and his partner when the missing man’s wife approached him.

“She said, ‘Oh, hey my husband has fallen out of his tinnie, can you go and get him?'” He said.

“We thought‘ Oh yeah, no worries – it happens ’and we got out there and we found the tinny circulating but didn’t find him at all.

“There has now been an extravagant effort underway to find him, but with this weed and stuff like that, no one has pulled through.

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Sir. Spajic said everyone at the campsite was “pretty desperate” about the situation.

“There are 190,000 barramundis in this dam and we have not been able to find one of them,” he said.

“So, finding one person is a needle in the haystack, to be honest.

Spajic’s partner, Georgia Kleeman, remained ashore, supporting the man’s wife while the men led.

She said everything was calm to begin with because they could all see the man in the water.

“When the boys got out there, he had just disappeared,” she said.

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