Barry Ray JESSEN
 

Friday, August 18, 2006. 8:29am (AEST)
Missing trawlerman 'may be alive' - ABC

West Australian police say a man missing off the north-west coast could still be alive despite spending a night in shark-infested waters.

Barry Ray Jessen had been working on a prawn trawler in Shark Bay for two weeks when he disappeared yesterday morning.

It is believed the 22-year-old fell overboard.

An extensive search involving about 20 boats and a spotter plane failed to find him yesterday and was called off at sunset.

Senior Constable Paul Daly, from Shark Bay Police, says he is hopeful Mr Jessen is still alive.

"He's a ... fit, young man and he may well be able to stay afloat, or even get to shore," he said.

"The trawling vessels as well as the fisheries vessel and the volunteer marine will deploy again back up to the search area, and again we'll have another plane up during the day conducting aerial surveillance, in the hope of finding him as well."

Police say the average person could survive for about 36 hours in the ocean in that area due to the warm water temperature.

Senior Constable Daly says a plane has conducted an infrared scan of the area overnight.

Search for deckhand called off
Jim Kelly - Perth Now
August 18, 2006 08:30am

POLICE in the North West today called off a major sea and air search for a deckhand who went missing off a fishing boat near Denham yesterday.

The search, which had involved at least 20 vessels and a light aircraft was concentrated 24 nautical miles north-west of the town near Dirk Hartog Island, about 800km north of Perth

Crew on the fishing boat Palmerston noticed deckhand Barry Ray Jessen, 22, of Morley, was missing at about 9am yesterday.

Police have given up hope of finding Mr Jessen alive. He had been working on the boat for just two weeks.

Initially, police said the water conditions were quite warm and calm with light 5-10 knot winds, but the area was shark infested.