LATEST @ 10.15 AM | Authorities have confirmed the body of young jockey Chris Caserta, who disappeared during a late-night swim at Surfers Paradise earlier this week, has been found.
Surf Life Saving Queensland Gold Coast Operations Manager Nathan Fife said the body was located about 200 metres off-shore at Main Beach around 8.30am on Friday.
“I can confirm one of our jetski’s did locate a body at 8.30am this morning,” Mr Fife said.
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“It was about 1km south of the sand pumping jetty at the Spit and about 200 metres out to sea”.
Police have since confirmed the body is that of 26-year-old Chris Caserta, who vanished while swimming with a female friend on Wednesday.
The pair came into trouble around 10.00pm after getting caught in a rip.
The 25-year-old woman managed to make it back to shore, but Mr Caserta could not be located.
“Surf Life Saving Queensland lifesavers on wave runners found the body in the surf break just south of the sand pumping jetty around 8.30am this morning,” Queensland Police said in a statement a short time ago.
“The body has since been formally identified as Mr Caserta.”
Police will prepare a report for the Coroner.
EARLIER @ 6.50 AM | Recovery efforts continue on the Gold Coast today with authorities trying to find the body of well-known jockey Chris Caserta.
Police are conducting shoreline searches between Narrowneck and Burleigh Heads this morning, using ATVs to patrol beaches.
While authorities are not abandoning search efforts just yet, they’ve conceded that the timeframe for finding Chris alive has now passed.
Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro admitted around 1.00 pm yesterday that the search is now a recovery mission.
“Unfortunately I had the heartbreaking job of telling Chris’s parents that this is not a search and rescue for Chris,” Senior Sergeant Notaro said.
“We’re searching for Chris’s body, as the time frame for survival has passed.
“It is an absolute tragedy at any time but particularly just before Christmas… So on behalf of the Queensland Police Service, I would like to pass on our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the racing industry.”
26-year-old Chris Caserta was out for dinner with a woman in Broadbeach on Wednesday night, when the pair went for a swim around 10.00 pm.
25-year-old Amy Graham was able to be saved by bystanders and was hospitalised in a stable condition.
In a text message to her boss, which has since been published by Newscorp, Ms Graham says the whole thing happened so fast.
“I thought I was going to die, I tried my best to save him, keep him calm and breathe without struggling myself.
“But we just kept getting dunked over and over and over again. It happened so fast, we just got dragged out.
“We didn’t even go that far but the ocean took us out… I didn’t even want to go in but I couldn’t let him go in alone,” the text reads.