John Laverack: Human remains found in search for missing Kalbarri windsurfer

Peter Devlin and Daryna ZadvirnaThe West Australian
What are believed to be human remains have been found in the search for missing Kalbarri kite surfer John Laverack.
Camera IconWhat are believed to be human remains have been found in the search for missing Kalbarri kite surfer John Laverack.

What are believed to be human remains have been found in the search for missing Kalbarri windsurfer John Laverack.

Police were alerted to the grim discovery on Thursday, but have confirmed the search is ongoing.

“The remains are currently being forensically examined to determine whether they are linked to the missing man,’ WA Police said in a statement.

“The missing man’s family have been advised of this development.

“Search activity in the area is continuing, pending the results of the forensic examination.”

John Laverack has been missing since Wednesday after falling into water at a river mouth near Kalbarri
Camera IconJohn Laverack has been missing since Wednesday after falling into water at a river mouth near Kalbarri Credit: Supplied

Mr Laverack was first reported missing around midday, after he was seen by a member of the public falling into the water near the mouth of the Murchison River.

A desperate search was launched and local Marine Rescue volunteers managed to spot the 72-year-old in the water, but lost sight of him before he could be rescued, according to Mid West-Gascoyne District Superintendent Roger Beer.

The search including marine, land and air resources, resumed again this morning — but rough waves prevented the Volunteer Sea Rescue crew from leaving the bay.

However, as rain subsided and the conditions improved, the rescue boat was able to venture out a bit further at about 10.30am.

It is understood John’s pet border collie-cross Sasha, who is being cared for by one of his friends, had been waiting by the water’s edge for him to come back.

“He takes (Sasha) everywhere and when he didn’t come in from the surf she was pining ... it’s so sad,” Mr Laverack’s daughter Kylie Edward told The West Australian.

Ms Edward said she was feeling emotional but had not lost hope of a good outcome.

The search for John Laverack continues.
Camera IconThe search for John Laverack continues. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

“I still have some hope that dad’s alive but of course at this stage I haven’t had any news of them finding him,” she said.

“Obviously I’m very appreciative of the rescue people involved in his search and the effort put in by helping ... a lot of his town’s people have reached out, which is very touching.”

Ms Edward said her father was a former ranger in Kalbarri and was very passionate about his town and nature.

The 72-year-old loved keeping active by fixing dunes, weeding and picking up rubbish around town.

The Bureau of Meteorology yesterday issued a gale-alert predicting strong 35 to 55km per hour winds as a deep low pressure system moved through the region, with swells peaking at 3 to 4m last night.

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