Search for missing man Thomas Courto and boat ends off the northwest coast of Tasmania

The search for the missing Tasmanian man Thomas Courto and the boat he and two other friends were traveling in off the northwest coast of the state has been interrupted.

Courto and two of his friends – Bree-Anna Thomas and Isaiah Dixon – did not return from a day trip on the water on October 18.

The bodies of Thomas and Mr Dixon were found washed ashore near Table Cape two days later.

Tasmania police said an “irregular area” identified on the seabed near the coast during a sonar survey was not related to Mr. Courto or the boat he and his friends had been in.

Tasmania police inspector Steve Jones said the 11-day search had been suspended after a “comprehensive independent review”.

“Given the bad weather and cool temperatures, expert advice has determined that it is extremely unlikely that Thomas Courto could have survived,” said Inspector Jones.

“Our thoughts go out to the family and loved ones of the three people – Isaiah Dixon, Thomas Courto and Bree-Anna Thomas – who were tragically lost at sea.”

flower bouquets left on top of a low stone wall
Flower tributes were left in a park in Wynyard as locals showed their support for the families of Isaiah Dixon, Thomas Courto and Bree-Anna Thomas.(Delivered by: Annie Matthews)

The three friends were from the northwest town of Wynyard, where they launched their boat from October 18th.

Police had also hoped to find the five-meter-long yellow-and-white motorboat with half the cab, but said there had been no sign of it either.

They had hoped that the vessel would have given some answers as to what might have happened.

The search, which began after the three friends and continued after Mr Courto, was one of the largest sea searches that have taken place on the northwest coast.

It was also the first time that Tasmania’s police had used the type of sonar technology used to search the seabed, with the ability to search about 500 hectares in a day.

Police boat seen from a distance from the shore.
Police divers used sonar technology in the search for Thomas Courto.(ABC News: Monte Bovill)

After the bodies of Mr Dixon and Mrs Thomas were found, Mr Dixon’s uncle, John-Paul Dixon, said that Isaiah Dixon and Mr Courto had “grown up together since they were little boys” and Bree fit in very well. them”.

“They were both very special boys, and Bree was a beautiful lady.”

Inspector Jones thanked everyone involved in the search, including specialist search and rescue police.

“I would also like to thank volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Surf Life Saving Tasmania and the wider Northwest community for their important help and support as they conducted this extensive search,” he said.

A report is being prepared for the forensic pathologist.

A composite image of three people looking like they's in their 20s.
Thomas Courto, Bree-Anna Thomas and Isaiah Dixon were good friends.(Delivered: Facebook)


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