September 10, 2008
DEBRIS found floating off Queensland's Gold Coast is not from the missing yacht the Blessed Be.
A file photograph of the missing yacht Blessed Be.
The 12.9m yacht, with two men aboard and sailing from Noumea, was last heard from on August 23.
Spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Tracey Jiggins said the search for the yacht was resuming this morning, with radar-equipped aircraft sweeping an area of 50,000 square nautical miles from Fraser Island to Port Stephens and a visual search of the coastline.
She said there was no connection between the debris found floating 140km off Southport and the Blessed Be.
Ms Jiggins said just four aircraft would undertake the search this morning, two radar-equipped planes searching the ocean and two helicopters tracking down the coast.
Up to 21 aircraft joined the search earlier this week.
Ms Jiggins said although fewer aircraft were being used, it didn't necessarily mean the search was being scaled back.
"Although we have less aircraft, we're still searching a very large area," she said.
"The reason we're not using fixed wing (aircraft) is because the helicopters are able to do the low-level coastal search."