Scottie Simmonds

Boat trip ends in river tragedy

A 43-YEAR-OLD deckhand drowned in the Burnett River after he fell while trying to tie two trawlers together at a mooring.

Police and emergency crews were called to the area where the boat was moored about 6.15pm on Friday, after the man fell into the water and did not resurface.

Bundaberg Police Sergeant Steve Schultz said a major search was immediately launched to find the man, including Volunteer Marine Rescue members, SES and the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter.

Sgt Schulz said the man's body was recovered just after 8.15pm.

"A police officer using a four-pronged boat anchor snared the man's shirt," he said.

The deckhand, South Australian man Darren John Gommer, is believed to have worked on a trawler called the Stephen C.

His mother was expected to travel to Bundaberg last night to formally identify his body.

The murky waters of the river are believed to have hampered the search for the man.

"We had the helicopter in the air and they have a powerful spotlight that can penetrate the water to a certain depth," Sgt Schultz said.



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