Man missing after boating accident

POLICE are searching the Gold Coast coastline for a man who went missing after capsizing a homemade fishing boat on Wednesday morning.

Worongary man Gavin Studwel, 39, and his 29-year-old female friend, who police did not identify, went fishing off-shore from Surfers Paradise on Tuesday night, when their 4.2m homemade fibreglass boat was hit by freak waves.

Gold Coast Water Police Senior Sergeant Lucas Young said a wave hit the back corner of the boat before a second swamped the vessel.

"Within a fairly short period of time it has gone to the bottom," he said.

The woman told police she and Mr Studwel were treading water together for three to four hours before they were separated.

The woman managed to swim to the shore and raised the alarm for her missing friend at Marina Mirage.

Police said the woman was suffering hypothermia and shock.

Water police, surf lifesavers and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter scoured the area between Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast Seaway, roughly an area of 16 nautical miles, throughout Wednesday.

They found an esky, a jacket and a bucket but did not locate the submerged boat.

At 4pm on Wednesday, a police spokesman said the man had not been found and the search was ongoing.
Police were expected to continue the search through Wednesday night.


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