Search continues for man missing on Lake Jindabyne

Police say there’s no hope of finding alive a Queensland man who went swimming in frigid Lake Jindabyne on Saturday. Police divers and two search boats were being sent out today to continue searching a small section of the Snowy Mountains lake for the 40-year-old, who jumped in against the advice of his friends about 4pm on Saturday. But police Superintendent Peter Rooney said with the water temperature hovering around the six degree mark, there was little chance the man had survived. “We’re not holding out any hope of finding him alive,” Superintendent Rooney said. “(Conditions are) a bit calmer than yesterday but the lake’s still choppy and there’s a front moving through.”The man was holidaying in Lake Jindabyne with his partner and friends, Superintendent Rooney said. He was with three or four friends on Saturday afternoon when he decided to swim from the lake’s edge out to Cub Island, a distance of almost 600 metres. “His mates tried to talk him out of it but he was adamant he was going and we believe he had consumed some alcohol prior to it,” Superintendent Rooney said. The man made it about half way across before getting into difficulties. He called out to his friends before disappearing under the surface. His friends and a fisherman walking past caught the attention of police, who commandeered a small boat and went out to where the man was last seen. “We had police there in five minutes in a boat … there was no sign of him,” Superintendent Rooney said. Shortly afterwards police and State Emergency Services (SES) boats joined them but a grid search of the area did not find the man. The search was suspended well after nightfall and started again yesterday before stopping about 11am due to bad weather. At 1pm, police divers were sent out to search to depths of between six and 10 metres, while police and SES volunteers searched the foreshore of the lake and nearby islands.Superintendent Rooney said the divers would go out again today with two boats but there was no chance the man was still alive. The man’s partner and friends were still in Jindabyne, he said. “Obviously she’s distraught … her and his mates have assisted us in being able to narrow down the search area significantly,” Superintendent Rooney said. The last known drowning in Lake Jindabyne occurred more than four years ago, he said.
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