Police locate body in search for skipper missing from capsized boat in Derby creek

Tom Zaunmayr & Grace HendryBroome Advertiser
A police search is underway for the skipper of an overturned boat in Derby.
Camera IconA police search is underway for the skipper of an overturned boat in Derby. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

The search for a man missing after his boat capsized in a Kimberley creek on Sunday afternoon has ended, after a body believed to be that of the missing skipper was located.

51-year-old Paul Norris was the skipper of a vessel which overturned in Airport Creek, 5km from Derby, which had five people on board on Sunday afternoon.

Authorities were alerted to the vessel at about 1.45pm Sunday, after which police conducted an air and water search around the tidal creek and located four passengers at about 7pm Sunday night — a man, one women and two girls.

The capsized vessel is a 6.4m Chivers sports cab which left Derby Jetty about 12.30pm Sunday, one hour before being reported overturned.

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A search and rescue operation involving police vessels and drones, helicopter and a jet were deployed to the area. At 5.40pm the helicopter spotted the boat about 17km south of its capsized location.

Footprints in the mud led authorities to the four passengers, who were spotted walking through the marsh after sunset.

They were taken to Derby Hospital uninjured as a precaution.

Mr Norris’ family have been advised of the development and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

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