FV Dianne has been raised from the seabed and towed to the Port of Bundaberg. The police has launched an investigation into the cause of the accident and hopes to recover the missing bodies of four crew members

20 February 2018

The fishing vessel Dianne, which capsized off the town of Seventeen Seventy in Queensland, Australia, last October, claiming the lives of six crew members, was towed to the Port of Bundaberg today (20 February).

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the accident in which Zach Feeney, 28, Eli Tonks, 39, Adam Hoffman, 30, Ben Leahy, aged 45,  Adam Bidner, 33 and Chris Sammut, 34 lost their lives.
Only the bodies of Leahy and Hoffman have been found, whilst Feeney, Tonks, Bidner and Sammut are presumed dead.

A seventh man, Ruben McDornan, 32, clung to the hull of the trawler for six hours and was rescued by a passing yacht.

News Australia reports that in a press conference earlier today Bundaberg Police Inspector Pat Swindells said: “There is a possibility the men may be on board. The police divers did an amazing job in some very hostile conditions to initially get into the vessel (after it sunk).

“Now it is very important that we get as much information that we can. It will give the families some closure and they can continue on with the grieving process.”

Inspector Swindells added: “The weather conditions and the way the vessel was sitting on the sea floor made recovery efforts very difficult. Now that we have it here we can see the hull of the vessel is intact. It won’t be until we pump the water out of it until we see what the condition of it is inside.

“Later on today they will attempt to pump the Dianne out and once it has been empty of water, police will continue the investigation.

“We will get the fire service in to do some testing to make sure other services can safely go on board.

“Specialist police will come out from Brisbane and our detectives will continue to try and find out exactly what happened and how it sunk.”


18 October 2017

Six men are still missing after their trawler Dianne capsized off the east coast of Australia on Monday (16 October) at 7.30pm local time.

The trawler was fitted with a life raft but it’s believed it was not deployed.

The missing men have been named as Zach Feeney, 28, Eli Tonks, 39, Adam Hoffman, 30, Ben Leahy, aged 45,  Adam Bidner, 33 and Chris Sammut, 34.

A seventh man, Ruben McDornan, 32, was rescued after a passing yacht spotted him clinging to the trawler’s hull, according to The Courier Mail .

McDornan had been clinging to the hull for six hours.

Continues below…


Search teams were at the scene to look for the six missing men, but didn’t manage to locate them among the debris.

The bad weather conditions in the Bustard Bay area, where the trawler sank, have made the search for the fishermen difficult and at 2.25pm on Tuesday (17 October) the search helicopter reported it had been stood down.

Gladstone police station search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Jeff Barnett said that the weather conditions were not favourable.

The Courier Mail reports Barnett saying: “Once the timeframe for survival has expired we will maintain a search for potential survivors in the hope they have managed to get to an area we haven’t got to. That will continue.

“At this stage planning is underway for continued air and surface searches but it will be on a slightly different scale in slightly different areas, depending on weather and what information comes with regard to debris and drift.

“We have already started planning for the search and recovery phase.”