Floral tributes are seen at the Seventeen Seventy Headland, Gladstone. (AAP Image/Natalia Muszkat)
Floral tributes are seen at the Seventeen Seventy Headland, Gladstone. (AAP Image/Natalia Muszkat)

Politician rises in Parliament to pay respects to trawler men

AS HE rose in Parliament yesterday, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd paid his respects to the six fishermen who died at sea 11 days ago.

In his heartfelt speech, Mr O'Dowd expressed his appreciation and thanks for the commitment volunteers and emergency services involved in the trawler tragedy had shown since the sinking of the Dianne.

The fishing trawler sank off the coast of Seventeen Seventy last Monday night and is now laying on the seabed on its roof in about 30 metres of water off Round Hill Headland.

Floral tributes are seen at the Seventeen Seventy Headland, Gladstone, Queensland on Sunday. Picture: AAP
Floral tributes are seen at the Seventeen Seventy Headland, Gladstone, Queensland on Sunday. Picture: AAP

Ruben McDornan, a crewman and the lone survivor of the trawler tragedy, was located floating in the water about 7am the next morning, by a passing boat.

On Saturday, police divers recovered the bodies of two fishermen from the wreckage of the Dianne, however, four more men are still to be accounted for.

"I ask all my colleagues to join me in our sincere hope there is closure for all of the families, friends and communities across Queensland who have been affected by this tragic event," Mr O'Dowd said in his speech.

"We express our sincere appreciation to the paid and volunteer men and women of our emergency management authorities who have worked day after day and hour after hour in their efforts to bring closure for all."

The extensive air and water search already under way will continue until Sunday, when police will reassess.

In his speech, Mr O'Dowd acknowledged the effort and community support which has come out in force in the tragic time.

"Community members have combed the beaches and estuaries in search of the missing men.

"An extensive list of volunteer organisations, including the VMR and the SES, joined the search efforts and they answered the call in their typical dedicated and selfless manner.

"Numerous private vessels also volunteered their service in admirable and unselfish conduct befitting the men and women who take to the seas to earn their living for their families on land."

The politician extended his deepest sympathies to the families of the six fishermen and gratefully acknowledged Seventeen Seventy's (and surrounding areas')  strength and sense of community.

"In times of utter despair, often it is the true spirit of a community that shines brightest."

MP Ken O'Dowd
MP Ken O'Dowd "rose in Parliament to express to all of Australia his sincere gratitude and appreciation for the efforts and dedication of the volunteers and emergency services authorities involved in the tragedy off of our coast. I hope all the families are able to find closure." MP Ken O'Dowd's Facebook Page