Salvage operation for sunken trawler suspended by rough weather off central Queensland coast

Rough seas have delayed the salvage operation for the remains of the fishing trawler Dianne, which sunk in October.

The barge used in the recovery attempts has been withdrawn from the site, near the town of Seventeen Seventy, to Bundaberg, where it will remain on standby until the weather improves.

Police said that based on weather forecasts the seas would be too rough to restart salvage attempts for days.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jim Richardson said a trough moving through from the west and a high-pressure system extending up the coast from the Tasman Sea had caused the unstable conditions.

Winds on Friday were predicted to increase between 10 and 15 knots and an offshore swell was expected at one to one-and-a-half metres. The forecast was similar for Saturday.

Conditions were expected to worsen on Sunday, with the swell rising to one to two metres and winds increasing to 15 to 20 knots as a southerly change rolled in.

Mr Richardson said those conditions were expected to remain until at least Tuesday.

Police said extra salvage equipment had been sent to the area to help once the weather cleared.

Professional salvage crews rolled the sunken vessel on Monday, but police divers didn't find any more bodies underneath the vessel.

The next stage of the recovery will be to raise the Dianne to the surface before towing it to Bundaberg.

A comprehensive inspection of the trawler will be conducted as Queensland Police and Maritime Safety Queensland continue their joint investigation into the fatal sinking, with a report to be prepared for the Coroner.

Dianne capsized on October 16 near Seventeen Seventy, with crewman Ruben McDornan, 32, the only confirmed survivor after he treaded water for several hours in the night.

It was found by sonar 30 metres below the surface about five nautical miles off Round Hill Headland near Seventeen Seventy.

The bodies of skipper Ben Leahy, 45, and Adam Hoffman, 30, were found inside the vessel by police divers.

Adam Bidner, 33, Zachary Feeney, 28, Chris Sammut, 34, and Eli Tonks, 39, were still missing.

This story Salvage operation for sunken trawler suspended by rough weather off central Queensland coast first appeared on Brisbane Times.