The desperate search for Australian father who disappeared without a trace while canoeing off the coast of Queensland continues
- Great fears for coffee truck operator Denne Bourke
- Canoeing in Torres Strait when he went missing
- Friends and family pray for a miracle
Hope fades to find a new father who recently made coffee for Anthony Albanese after the extensive search was relegated.
Outrigger paddler Denne Bourke, 38, was last seen paddling his canoe in Torres Strait between Thursday and Horn Islands off the far north of Queensland, but did not return.
A desperate full-scale search involving police and partner federal agencies was launched after his canoe was found 100 yards off Thursday Island later that day. His hat was later found on rocks between the two islands.
Queensland Police have confirmed the rescue mission has been scaled back as the search enters its sixth day.
Searches on water and from the air continue, but searches for the coast on land have been suspended.
The desperate search for canoeist Denne Bourke (pictured with his partner Georgia) has entered its sixth day
“Family and friends would like to thank the community for their support and efforts in the search and rescue effort,” a police statement read.
“They are very grateful for the prompt and detailed response from the local community. The kindness and generosity during this difficult time was greatly appreciated.”
The Ministry of Environment and Science also assisted in the search, along with a contingent of local ships.
Mr Bourke, a resident of Thursday Island, and his partner Georgia became parents for the first time three months ago.
He ran a popular coffee van and was well known to locals and tourists visiting Thursday Island.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Australian basketball legend Patty Mills and a host of NRL and NRLW stars are among those who encountered Mr Bourke and his coffee truck while visiting the island.
Denne Bourke drove the popular The Coffee Department bus on Thursday Island
Mr. Bourke was also president of the Torres Strait Outriggers Canoe Club.
His friends and family continue to hope for a miracle.
“The sea and island search for Denne Bourke continues,” wrote Townsville OCC.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Denne, Georgia, their families and their wider Torres Straits OCC family. What a terrible time for them.’
Farhad Kamal, a resident of Horn Island, was one of the last people to speak to Mr Bourke at a Thursday Island grocery store shortly before he hit the water last Wednesday.
“It’s hard to hold back tears when you think about him,” Mr Kamal told the ABC.
“He is in everyone’s thoughts and yet we hope that a miracle will happen.”
Australian basketball legend Patty Mills (right) and his wife grab coffee from Denne Bourke (centre) during a visit to Thursday Island in 2021