The brother of Melbourne AFL star Michael Hibberd has been confirmed as one of the fishermen missing near Phillip Island in Victoria.
Jason De Silva, 20, and Geoff Hibberd, 33, went missing after heading out to Western Port Bay yesterday, despite COVID-19 restrictions banning recreational fishing in the state.
Police and family hold grave concerns for the pair after their boat was found washed up on rocks at Pyramid Rock, Phillip Island about 11am today.
They were in a three-metre aluminium “tinny” boat with an outboard motor.
A friend called police about 9pm last night after being unable to reach them.
Water police and the airwing, Coast Guard and volunteer marine rescue agencies have launched a search party for the pair.
The men undertook their fishing adventure on the first weekend since the state’s harsher coronavirus social distancing laws were put in place.
“No recreational fishing trip, no trip to the golf course is worth someone’s life and I know it’s frustrating and I’m asking a lot of you not to do the things you love doing, but there are people you love as well,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday.
“There are so many in the community who will be at risk if we keep going on as usual, pretending this is not real.
“I thank those who are giving up so much. I am deeply grateful. I know it’s a lot but it is making a massive difference.”
Individuals who fail to comply with the state’s shutdown regulations face on-the-spot fines of up to $1652.
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