Search for Queensland boatie scaled back

Nicholas McElroy

The search for a 60-year-old man missing off the Queensland coast has been scaled back as his family thanked emergency crews.

Dysart man Gary Flower has been missing since 3am on Tuesday after he tried to swim for a boat that was dragging its anchor about 15km off Yeppoon.

Mr Flower and a 62-year-old friend initially tried to chase the seven-metre boat in an inflatable dingy before trying to swim to it. Only the friend made it.

Searchers covered an area of more than 430sq km, northwest of the missing man's last known location, but did not find him.

They have found the inflatable dinghy and a life jacket.

His family has issued a heartfelt statement thanking police along with search and rescue personnel involved in the extensive search.

Police on Thursday said the search will be scaled back on Friday, but water police will continue to search the shoreline and beaches.

Meanwhile, a separate search for a man missing in waters off Innisfail will continue underway on Friday.

Authorities were alerted after the man's boat was found drifting in the mouth of the Johnstone River about 6.40pm on Tuesday.

A search between South Barnard Islands to Cooper Point had found no sign of him.