Family vow to wait by Mary River until Joel is found

The search continues for Joel Winterton, who is missing in the Mary River.
The search continues for Joel Winterton, who is missing in the Mary River.

UPDATE: The family of Maryborough's Joel Winterton has vowed to remain by the side of river until he is returned to them.

Jake Hoolahan said his family took Joel, 25, in when he was a troubled teenager and he considered Joel to be one of his brothers.

Joel is believed to have suffered an epileptic fit on Wednesday morning, falling into the Mary River.

A friend jumped into the water and tried to save him, but was unable to.

Emergency services have been on the scene for the past two days searching for the much-loved Maryborough man.

Jake said his family was devastated by what had happened.

He said Joel's mate Kev was "distraught" about the incident.

He said Kev had cuts on his body from trying to save Joel, but the strong current in the river meant he kept getting  pushed under the wharf.

Jake said Kev had done a lot more than try to save Joel's life at the river on Wednesday morning, helping him each and every day before that as well.

He said Joel would never have expected so many people to gather for him, indicating all the people waiting near the river.

"He always thought he didn't have many friends," Jake said.

EARLIER: The family of a missing man who fell into the Mary River just after 9am on Wednesday morning are holding a vigil by the pontoon where he was last seen.

The 25-year-old is believed to have suffered a seizure before falling into the water off the pontoon near the Lamington Bridge.

ORIGINAL STORY: Water police resume search for man in Mary River


A friend attempted to pull him  out of the water, but he was unsuccessful, police said.

The search continued on Thursday morning, with members of the State Emergency Service, Water Police and the Coast Guard out in boats searching for the man.

A spokeswoman from Queensland Police Media said the search had restarted about 5am.

The spokeswoman said rescuers were currently searching a 2km stretch of the Mary River in hopes of finding the man.

Topics:  man mary river missing qas search

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