“Time frame for survival has passed” Police admit search for missing jockey has turned to recovery

Police have sadly conceded there is no hope of finding a missing jockey alive after he went missing during a late-night beach swim on the Gold Coast.

Well-known jockey Chris Caserta and a female friend got into trouble while swimming at Surfers Paradise around 10.00pm on Wednesday.

Members of the public spotted the pair struggling in the water and were able to help the 25-year-old woman to safety.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


However, Caserta, who was wearing only black shorts, was unable to make it to shore and has not been seen since.

A massive land, sea and air search has been ongoing since first light this morning, but so far emergency crews have had no luck in locating the 26-year-old.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Senior Sergeant Jay Notaro admitted 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.”

Senior Sergeant Notaro said officers will “continue to search”, with the goal to “return Chris to his family”.

He said the current water conditions have made the search difficult, but vowed to keep going until Chris is found and returned to his parents.

“They aren’t ideal conditions, we have about 20 knots south, south-easterly winds out there and 1 metre swell, it’s quite choppy,” he said.

“Certainly the water quality at the moment is fairly poor after the recent rain and it’s been reported that we only have about half a metre of visibility.”

Police said the woman involved is understandably “quite upset and traumatised by the incident”.

“It is a timely reminder to swim on patrolled beaches during the patrolled times which are currently 8am to 5pm,” Senior Sergeant Notaro said.

“By not doing so, you’re putting your own life at risk and also putting the lives of risk of those people that try and rescue you”.