John Laverack: Police cling to hope of finding body of missing Kalbarri windsurfer

Headshot of Elise Van Aken
Elise Van AkenMidwest Times
Email Elise Van Aken
SES volunteers at Jakes Point searching for Kalbarri man John Laverack last Thursday.
Camera IconSES volunteers at Jakes Point searching for Kalbarri man John Laverack last Thursday. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

The windsurfer who was swept away by “treacherous” waters in Kalbarri last week has been remembered fondly by neighbours and the community, after human remains recovered by emergency services were confirmed to belong to the 72-year-old.

John Laverack
Camera IconJohn Laverack Credit: Kylie Edward/Facebook

John Laverack was a well-known windsurfer, dog owner and handyman around the small town, which he had called home for more than two decades.

John Laverack remembered as a “friendly” and “unique” Kalbarri character after windsurfing tragedy

WA Police Mid West-Gascoyne District Supt Roger Beer indicated while the search for the “missing person” had been scaled back, police had not entirely lost hope of recovering his body.

“It has been scaled back, we’ll continue to search shorelines and beaches over the coming days,” he said.

“The material we found has been confirmed as belonging to the missing person, which is obviously very sad.

As time goes on, it becomes less likely we will be able to recover him.

- WA Police Mid West-Gascoyne District Supt Roger Beer
The rough water conditions at Gantheaume Bay last Thursday.
Camera IconThe rough water conditions at Gantheaume Bay last Thursday. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Midwest Times

“There’s issues with the swell and the weather, and we’re doing our best to do what we can, but as time goes on, it becomes less likely we will be able to recover him.”

Supt Beer said it had been a difficult time for all people in Kalbarri, including his officers.

“Unfortunately, marine searches are something we encounter pretty regularly along the Mid West-Gascoyne Coast regularly,” he said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails