Thomas Courto Missing – Police concede that Thomas Courto, missing off coast of Tasmania, may never be found,
Missing Boat Wynyard – Police say the use of sonar technology to map and search the sea floor off Tasmania’s north-west coast has not uncovered any sign of Thomas Courto, who went missing a week ago, with authorities admitting they may never locate him.
Mr. Thomas has not been seen or heard from since he and two friends, Bree-Anna Thomas and Isaiah Dixon, set out on a boating day trip from Wynyard in Tasmania’s north west at midday last Monday.
A search for the trio began later that night after they did not return to shore as planned.
The bodies of Ms. Thomas and Mr. Dixon were found washed ashore between Fossil Bluff and Table Cape, less than 10 kilometers west of Wynyard, on Wednesday, but Mr. Courto and the boat remains nowhere to be found.
Inspector Jones said efforts had been focused on the sea bed. “We’re now into our sixth day of searching, we’ve had air and sea assets searching … it’s certainly one of the biggest sea marine searches that we’ve had on the north-west coast”.
Police say the sonar technology has been searching an area of 330 hectares about 4 kilometers from the shore.
Inspector Jones said “Essentially, it’s an underwater survey that can do average depths of up to 15 meters of water and can see around 50 to 60 meters wide at a time, and it can search around 500 hectares per day”.
He said this was the first time Tasmania Police had used this kind of sonar technology. “This technology is available within Tasmania Police, but to have the availability and the capability of being able to search such a large area, it’s a first for us in Tasmania”.
“We’ve done everything we can and are doing everything we can and have searched everywhere we believe Thomas and the boat to be,” Inspector Jones said. “We hope we may find Thomas and the vessel, but we may not”.
“His family are obviously holding out hope. We’re just trying to maintain as much contact with them and provide them daily updates as to what has occurred and what assets we’re using to search”.