Hope fades in search of missing surf skier who disappeared without a trace in a huge swell – after his buddy paddled to safety for seven hours
- 26-year-old Kiwi surf skier Jordan Kelly has been missing since Saturday
- He and a buddy got stuck in a huge swell off North Stradbroke Islande
- His friend said Mr Kelly ‘slipped away’ after being exhausted by waves
There is still no sign of missing New Zealander Jordan Kelly or his paddle three days after he went missing in big swell near Brisbane.
The 26-year-old got separated from his buddy Jack McDonald on Saturday while they were paddling their surf skis in heavy seas off North Stradbroke Island.
Both ended up in the water when Mr. McDonald’s ski began to sink. The 28-year-old has told police that his friend Jordan “slipped out” after the exhaustion began.
Mr. McDonald was able to paddle to safety and arrive at Amity Point Wharf on the island around 8pm, about seven hours after they got into trouble.
Senior Sergeant Mitch Gray of the Brisbane Water Police says water conditions have improved and ships and helicopters resumed the search on Tuesday morning.
The search for 26-year-old Jordan Kelly (right), who disappeared during a surf-ski trip around Stradbroke Island in Queensland’s Moreton Bay, continues
The men, both in their mid-twenties, were reported missing after failing to return from surfing at North Stradbroke Island between Dunwich and Cylinder Beach.
There is still no trace of Mr Kelly or his surf ski paddle, which would have floated.
“We haven’t found any clues, we haven’t found Jordan and a paddle is still circulating, so if any member of the public finds a black carbon fiber paddle we would definitely be interested,” Sgt Gray told ABC Radio .
He said Mr McDonald “did it hard” but had recovered from mild hypothermia and was questioned about the incident by water police.
Mr McDonald had also been able to return to the area where Mr Kelly disappeared on Saturday night on Monday evening to help police narrow the search area using riverbank lights and landmarks.
“You know you’re there all the way to the end and then have to make that decision to paddle back to land, yeah I can’t imagine what that would feel like,” Sgt Gray added.
Members of Mr Kelly’s family arrived from New Zealand on Monday, with others en route.
Sergeant Gray paid tribute to members of the North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay community for doing everything they could to assist the search, especially Coast Guard personnel and rescue crew volunteers.
“Some people don’t even show up to work, their job has been really good letting them go and be there and help us,” he said.
“So you know these jobs won’t get that without the community and volunteers.”