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Family’s hope as dad feared drowned

Dan Cojocea has been missing at sea for two days. Picture: Supplied
Dan Cojocea has been missing at sea for two days. Picture: Supplied

The family of a South Australian father who has not been seen since he got caught in a rip near Port Lincoln have said they are hoping for a “one-in-a-million miracle”.

Dan Cojocea, 43, was sucked out to sea in a rip while swimming with six children at Mary Ellis Wreck Beach about 4.30pm on Friday.

A major search effort entered its second day just after first light on Sunday at the beach – which is 20km south of Port Lincoln.

His sister Camelia Cantell spoke to reporters from the beachside on Saturday and said the family are still holding onto the hope of a “one-in-a-million miracle”.

Sister of missing father speaks to reporters. Picture 7NEWS.JPG
Dan Cojocea’s sister Camelia Cantell has said they are hoping for a ‘one-in-a-million miracle’. Picture: 7 NEWS

“We still hold out the highest hope and we believe in amazing miracles and until there’s a resolution, until we find him then we are hoping for a one-in-a-million miracle, that can be him” she said.

“Maybe one day he’ll just laugh about his adventures, he likes to tell a good story.”

Dan Cojocea has been missing at sea off Mary Ellis Wreck Beach since Friday evening. Pictured here with his wife Alina. Picture: Supplied
Dan Cojocea has been missing at sea off Mary Ellis Wreck Beach since Friday evening. Pictured here with his wife Alina. Picture: Supplied

Local patrols, SES members and drones will all continue their search throughout the day on Sunday, police said.

“Any of the locals that are around, we would appeal to you that if you see anything please can you contact the police,” Ms Cantell said.

“We just want him to be found, and we believe perhaps he may have bumped his league, but we are believing for the best outcome.”

He was swimming with six children when he vanished. Picture: Supplied
He was swimming with six children when he vanished. Picture: Supplied
Search teams resumed their effort just after first light. Picture: Supplied
Search teams resumed their effort just after first light. Picture: Supplied

Two of the six children pulled from the water on Friday remain in Port Lincoln hospital.

It’s understood Mr Cojocea was holidaying with his family when the incident unfolded.

Mary Ellis Wreck Beach is small, surf beach 20 minutes south of Port Lincoln.

“Please note, this beach has a rip and there are no surf patrols in the area,” the Port Lincoln website warns.