News

Divers fail to find missing Irish surfer at Byron Bay

TOUGH JOB: Police divers search for missing Irish tourist Stuart Butler at Cape Byron on Saturday.
TOUGH JOB: Police divers search for missing Irish tourist Stuart Butler at Cape Byron on Saturday. Doug Eaton

POLICE divers have failed to find the body of Irish surfer Stuart Butler who disappeared off Tallow Beach nine days ago.

Four NSW Police Marine Area Command divers arrived from Sydney on Friday afternoon and began the search on Saturday at about 8am.

They conducted an extensive search of the waters around the rocky out-cliff just north of Tallow Beach where Mr Butler was last seen.

Despite good conditions and "perfect visibility" there were no signs of the Mr Butler or his surfboard.

The divers called off the search at about 10.20am.

Byron police sergeant Chris Neaves said local police would continue on-ground searches for the missing Irish tourist.

"They'll (the divers) return back to their base and we'll continue our search of the beaches for any further evidence," he said.

"We've been searching along Tallow Beach to Broken Head and from Wategos through to Brunswick Heads."

Sgt Neaves said the divers conducted a "very methodical" search of the coastline, grottos and caves, taking into account the rip that was operating at the time.

"They've done a comprehensive search of the area where he was last sighted and there was no evidence found," he said.

Mr Butler was last seen struggling against a strong rip at the rocky base of Cape Byron last Saturday morning.

He had been surfing off Tallow Beach with two friends, American Levi Fahrenholtz and Englishman Mike Fuller, before the three were caught in a rip and swept towards the cliffs. Mr Butler's friends managed to escape from the rip but he hasn't been seen since.

Police have urged surfers and swimmers to take care.

"If you're inexperienced or new to the area, consider the conditions carefully and take advice from experts, surf schools and locals," Sgt Neaves said. "And if in doubt, don't go into the surf."

Topics:  beaches, byron bay, drowning, rips




BALI MURDER: Sara Connor's ex-husband to visit her in prison

Sara Connor was accused of murdering a Bali police officer.

Accused murderer Sara Connor to get one of her first visits in jail

Three winched to safety as boat capsizes off North Coast

The rescue at Evans Head yesterday. Photo: Bill Wardrobe

Three people have had a lucky escape

Council refuses to finance construction of long-awaited cafe

Concept design for the planned Shelly's on the Beach cafe, by Archimages Architecture.

Five years and counting for construction to begin on cafe.

Latest deals and offers

VIDEO: What did Thor do during Captain America: Civil War?

Short explains why Thor wasn't in Civil War film.

Hilarious mockumentary features star of the film Chris Hemsworth

Meet Toowoomba's top exotic dancer

WINNERS ARE GRINNERS: Exotic dancers (from left) Alice Morgan, Celeste and Frenchie are heading to the United States after competing in Miss Vault 2017.

Dancers vie for top spot at Toowoomba's only strip club

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

New music: The legacy of the thunder

Artwork for Celtic Thunder Legacy Volume 2.

Anticipated follow-up album to the chart-topping Legacy, Volume One

Deborah Conway: A String of Pearls, after 25 years

PARTNERS IN MUSIC: Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier are releasing their latest album, Everybody is Begging (2016).

Deborah Conway celebrates 25th anniversary of release

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m