Hopes fade in search for missing fisherman as his devastated family share a heartbreaking message

Hopes fade in search for missing fisherman as his devastated family share a heartbreaking message


The devastated family of a fisherman missing for four days have spoken out for the first time as hopes fade for his survival. 

Matthew Balange, 43, was fishing alone from his boat on Sunday, off the coast of Mooloolaba, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and has not been heard from since.

The alarm was raised after Mr Balange failed to return home or make contact with his partner on Sunday night.

Missing fisherman, Matthew Balange (pictured), 43, has been missing from his solo fishing trip since Sunday

Mr Balange's

Rescue teams (police boat pictured) are winding down their search after three days combing a large area between the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Island

Mr Balange’s boat was found off Cape Moreton on Monday with the engine still running, suggesting to the Coast Guard he may have fallen overboard while fishing, 7News reported.

His partner Kylie took to social media to express her shock and sadness.

‘It’s 3am, and I am just here heartbroken, in disbelief, wishing this was a nightmare,’ she said.

In a statement released on behalf of the Balange family, his brother Dave said: ‘Matt absolutely loved his fishing, he lived and breathed it every opportunity he could get.

Mr Balange's partner Kylie (pictured together) took to social media to express her shock and sadness

Mr Balange’s partner Kylie (pictured together) took to social media to express her shock and sadness 

‘We take a little solace that he was doing what he absolutely loved. While our family still holds hope for a positive outcome, we are realistic in our expectations.’

His family also thanked everyone involved in the search for Mr Balange, who had recently moved to Queensland from NSW.

Rescue teams combed a large area between the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Island since Monday, but now admit the chances of survival are slim, and plan to conclude the search on Wednesday.

Mooloolaba Coast Guard senior skipper Rod Ashlin said: ‘Realistically, you’d have to say the chances of finding a person alive now would be very small.

 ‘I wish I could be more positive in the hopes of finding this person, but obviously those chances are slipping away now.’



Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *