Tuesday 12-Jan-2010 (1650 hrs CST)

Search suspended –Central Australia


Police have suspended the search for the body of a man who went missing in the Sandover River on Saturday morning.  
Police mounted a land and air search after a report that two brothers aged 25 and 32 had been swept away in the river. Territory Response Section members were flown to the Arlparra community on Sunday after searchers failed to locate the missing pair.  
On Monday morning the body of the 32-year-old was found approximately 22 kilometres from where he went missing. The body was retrieved and has been taken to Alice Springs.  
Meanwhile the air and ground search continued for the body of the second man, however, after more than 50 flying hours, approximately 1950 kilometres searched by air and 75kilometres of land search along the river bank, police have stood down the TRS members involved until the waters recede.  
Acting Superintendent Darrell Kerr said around 30 members of the Arlparra community had also been involved in the search.  
“It’s always a difficult decision to suspend a search, but it’s become clear there is little chance of the man being located with the waters at their present level.,” Acting Superintendent Kerr said.  
“Therefore, we are standing the TRS down and they will fly back to Darwin to resume the search again once the waters recede.  
“This has been a tragic event for the family and community members, but the dedication of those assisting in the search is to be commended.”  
Meanwhile the Northern Territory Emergency Service Flood boat and two crew from Alice Springs have been sent to the Arlparra Community to assist with on-going flood relief services to the surrounding outstations.