A search has been launched off Dauan Island in the Torres Strait for a missing boat carrying five people, including a child. Picture: Anna/Rogers
A search has been launched off Dauan Island in the Torres Strait for a missing boat carrying five people, including a child. Picture: Anna/Rogers

Body found in search for five people missing at sea

QUEENSLAND police are trying to determine whether a child's body found in Papua New Guinea belongs to one of five people missing from an empty boat found floating in the Torres Strait.

The nine-year-old, two men and two women set off from Badu Island for Dauan Island on July 31, but never arrived.

Their empty boat, a seven-metre vessel, was found on Friday afternoon about 4.5km west of Dauan Island.

Papua New Guinea authorities have located a child's body near Old Mawatta Village on the mainland.

Queensland Police determining if the body is that of the missing boy, but said it was found outside the search area.

The search is continuing on Saturday morning with aircraft and water police.

EARLIER: An empty boat believed to have been transporting five people, including a young boy, has been located floating in the Torres Strait.

Police hold grave concerns for the group consisting of a 22-year-old man, 44-year-old man, two 21-year-old women, and a 9-year-old boy, all from Dauan Island, who were reported missing by family on Wednesday.

A police spokesman confirmed the group had been travelling between Seisia at the tip of Cape York to Dauan Island in the north-west Torres Strait but failed to arrive.

He said the group contacted family as they went past Badu Island about 3pm on Wednesday, but were not heard from again.

A large-scale search was launched involving police vessels and aircraft.

The spokesman confirmed the seven-metre vessel was spotted by an aircraft floating several kilometres west of Dauan Island late yesterday.

The search for the missing people continued from first light today.