Albany ocean search: Family friend gives statement on missing 18-year-old fisherman as hopes fade

Kate RyanThe West Australian
A family spokesperson gives a statement to the media amid the search for the missing teenager.
Camera IconA family spokesperson gives a statement to the media amid the search for the missing teenager. Credit: Cameron Newbold/Albany Advertiser

A family friend of two men swept off rocks in Albany has given an emotional statement, thanking search crews as hopes fade for a teenager who is still missing.

The unidentified woman spoke on behalf of the family of the 18-year-old, who has been missing since falling into the water while fishing at Mermaid Beach on Saturday.

His 23-year-old friend was rescued after 90 minutes treading water, but there is still no sign of his friend.

The woman urged people in the area to keep looking for him, while thanking search crews who are entering into their third day.

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“Thank you to the Surf Life Saving Club, the Volunteer Marine Rescue, Goodwin Aviation, the Police Airwing, Water Police, Great Southern police command, Cheynes Beach Caravan Park have been fantastic, St John’s Ambulance, (the) Cheynes Beach community and the Department of Transport,” she said.

“We thank you, and for all the donations of food. And just, if anyone’s in the area to keep an eye out.”

Sergeant Damien Smith looks over Ledge Beach during the .
Camera IconSergeant Damien Smith looks over Ledge Beach during the . Credit: Cameron Newbold/Albany Advertiser

The friends were at a rock fishing spot in 4m t0 6m swells, about 70 km east of Albany on Saturday on a stretch of beach which is only accessible by four-wheel-drives when a wave swept them into the ocean.

Sea rescue crews were responding to another incident when they pulled the 23-year-old from the water.

The man told police that he had lost sight of his friend after they were swept into the Southern Ocean.

Volunteers off Cheynes Beach on Saturday.
Camera IconVolunteers off Cheynes Beach on Saturday. Credit: Taj Stubber/Albany Advertiser

Relatives and friends of the missing teenager have been helping police and the Albany Sea Rescue Squad with their search efforts.

South Easterly winds and choppy conditions have hampered efforts to find the man, over the weekend, but a strong wind warning far Albany was cancelled on Monday, with 17 knot winds recorded.

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