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Search continues for missing fisherman Ian Gray who hasn’t been seen since Sunday

Lachlan AllenMidwest Times
The search for missing fisherman Ian Gray has entered its third day in Green Head.
Camera IconThe search for missing fisherman Ian Gray has entered its third day in Green Head. Credit: Lachlan Allen

Hopes were fading for lone angler Ian Gray as crews again searched for any sign of the missing fisherman off the coast at Green Head on Tuesday.

Crews entered the third day of searching for Mr Gray at first light on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old was reported missing by concerned loved ones after he failed to return from a fishing trip off Green Head as expected on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Gray, from the Perth suburb of Waikiki, is an experienced fisherman who knows the area well. He typically returns to shore about 4pm after fishing but was overdue when family reported him missing about 6.20pm on Sunday night.

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His car and boat trailer were moved from the boat ramp on Monday afternoon.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre jet, which is a part of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, continued with aerial support on Tuesday while multiple vessels took to the water to search for the missing fisherman.

Local volunteer marine rescue vessels, a Department of Fisheries boat, police air-wing and drones, and a rescue helicopter were all involved in searching for Mr Gray.

State Emergency Services volunteers along with mounted and local police searched the land and banks along the shore in the area.

The search concluded at 5pm on Monday due to “adverse weather conditions.”

Mid-West Gascoyne District Acting Inspector Jon Munday said police held “grave concerns” for Mr Gray, who is from Perth but has family in Green Head, about 250km north of the capital city.

Insp. Munday said the weather was “not favourable for searching” because of a large swell.

“Obviously it is of concern for us that we haven’t been able to find either the vessel or Mr Gray either last night with the AMSA jet or today with the searching,” he said.

“Every minute that goes past it raises concerns for us because he is by himself. We are unsure of exactly what safety gear he has on the boat.

“Family have told us that he has basic safety gear, so we are hoping he has life-jackets and flares and all that sort of stuff, but he is in a reasonably small vessel. It is a 4.2m open dinghy . . . so with that large swell running we do hold grave concerns for Mr Gray.”

Insp. Munday said he had not received any information that an EPIRB had been activated.

“Mr Gray does know the area well, he does have family in Green Head and he has fished that location very regularly, so we are comforted in the fact that he knows the area well but we need to find him or the vessel,” he said.

Insp. Munday said Mr Gray’s family was very worried.

“They just want answers and that’s really what we want to do, we want to try and bring a speedy resolution to this so they can move on and hopefully we will still find Mr Gray alive,” he said

At the time of publication the search for Ian Gray was continuing.

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