Specialist officers being briefed at Jourama Falls in the search for missing man Shane Holian.
Specialist officers being briefed at Jourama Falls in the search for missing man Shane Holian.

No trace of missing man after intense search

NO trace of a man reported missing in dense bushland north of Townsville has been found by police, even after specialist police combed through the area.

Shane Holian, 60, formerly of Cairns, had been on his way to the North Queensland city to meet with friends when he stopped at Jourama Falls more than ten days ago.

Mr Holian is believed to have gone for a bushwalk, including to the top of a watering hole on December 2 according to a photo sent to a friend.

 

Shane Holian was reported missing after spending time camping at Jourama Falls.
Shane Holian was reported missing after spending time camping at Jourama Falls.

 

He had booked camping spots from Townsville to Cairns but failed to turn up.

The alarm was raised on Sunday by one of Mr Holian's friends, sparking an intense search and rescue operation that entered its third day on Wedday.

Specialist police officers took advantage of Wednesday's clear blue skies to search the rough terrain of Jourama Falls.

Inspector Damian Irvine said a small mustering helicopter and a drone covered most of the area that emergency services personnel couldn't reach on foot

"We are confident that we've covered all the ground we didn't think we could," he said.

"It's very inhospitable terrain that we're dealing with, we're talking about 100 foot cliifs, rapidly flowing water … thick rainforest, a lot of crevices and large rocks.

"Someone could veer two metres off a track, slip, break their leg and you wouldn't see them."

 

Missing man Shane Holian.
Missing man Shane Holian.

The inclement weather has hampered officers trying to search the fast flowing waterways.

A total of 18 police officers and four QFES swift water rescue personnel, including specialist officers from Cairns and Brisbane, and Townsville water police were involved in the search on Wednesday.

Insp Irvine said SES personnel and police officers would be on the ground searching on Thursday during the small window before the weather turns in the afternoon.

A drone will also be deployed.

Police will also concentrate on consolidating all the intelligence they have gathered, including the GPS data from the land-based and aerial searches, to find which areas they have missed.

"At this stage if nothing further comes forward, we are looking for a clear sky day possibly on Monday or Tuesday to do a final push.

"We'll keep searching until we've exhausted all possible avenues."

It is understood Mr Holian's family have flown down from Cairns and up from Melbourne and are being kept updated by police at the search command centre.



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