Monday 18 December 2017

Fears grow for missing Dublin man lost at sea in Australia

Stuart Butler
Stuart Butler
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

FEARS are growing for a young Dubliner missing in Austraila.

The search for Stuart Butler (20), from Santry, was due to resume at first light local time today.

He got into difficulty surfing at Cape Byron on Saturday.

Two other men, aged 20 and 26, were rescued a short distance away and suffered minor injuries. Emergency services are yet to find any trace of Mr Butler.

A family member at their Santry home this morning said: “We don’t have any more information.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has been in contact with the man’s family here.

Mr Butler, who turned 20 in May, was surfing when he got into difficulty at around 10.30am on Saturday when he and two friends got caught in a rip current.

Dangerous weather conditions have hampered the search operation.

This morning an officer in Byron Bay Police Station, Mark Waspe, speaking to the Herald at 8pm local time said: “There was no success today.

“The search will recommence at daylight. It’s concentrated mainly on the coastline but we have severe swells so it’s very challenging at the moment.

“They’ve had jet skis, boats and two helicopters out looking since the day of the incident,” he added.

Surf Life Saving Far North Coast branch duty officer Jimmy Keogh told local newspaper, The Northern Star, about the initial search.

“Lifesavers from Byron Bay surf club, who were on a jet ski, located the first male coming ashore at Wategoes.

“A second man was located along the cliff face around Cape Byron,clinging to rocks,” he said.

Surf Life Saving members and Marine Rescue crews are leading the search.

A warning about hazardous surf conditions along the entire New South Wales coast was issued on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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