Police seek help from people who were at boat ramp

UPDATE 1.40PM: Police are seeking assistance from anyone who may have been near the Wild Cattle Creek boat ramp on Saturday afternoon, following the death of a man later that day.

The man was on a jet ski at the boat ramp at about 2pm. He was later reported missing, and his body was found after a 12-hour search.

Police investigations have revealed a woman may have seen the jet ski rider and subsequently spoken with associates at the boat ramp at that time. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Senior Constable Melissa Dapiere at Tannum Sands Police Station on 4979 9444. 

EARLIER: A post-mortem examination will reveal the exact cause of death of a 53-year-old New Zealand-born local man whose body was found deep in mangroves in Wild Cattle Creek early Sunday after a jet ski accident.

Gladstone detectives said they did not believe the circumstances surrounding the man's death were suspicious, but would wait for an official cause of death after the post mortem was finalised, possibly on Tuesday.

A search and rescue operation was undertaken after the man was reported missing at 2pm on Saturday, with a co-ordinated response from SES and Gladstone Volunteer Marine Rescue members to find him.

Gladstone VMR controller and skipper Greg Sharp, who was among the crews involved in the almost 12-hour search, said the nature of Wild Cattle Creek had made it a difficult mission to locate the missing man.

"We got a phone call in the afternoon from search and rescue officers about a missing rider and we were asked to stand-by," he said.

"Low tide at Wild Cattle Creek is not navigable, so we got a crew together - myself, another skipper and a deckhand - and we proceeded down behind Broadacres (Broadacres Dr, Tannum Sands).

"The sun was just going down as we got on the water and we met up with water police.

"They gave us an area to search, being low tide. We started to search every creek."

His team, joined by a relative of the missing man, searched as far as they could, then were forced to continue on foot because low tide rendered their vessel ineffective.

Mr Sharp said the team had been hopeful of finding the man alive, with some of his crew working long hours to help with the search.

Mr Sharp said the family of the dead man had expressed their gratitude for the volunteers' efforts.

He reminded people to be vigilant on all waterways.



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