Two bodies found in search for missing yacht

The bodies of two men have washed up on a beach north of Newcastle, as police continue to search for a boat that disappeared while travelling to Port Stephens. The men, both in their 70s, have been named as Piers Dudley-Bateman and his brother-in-law Antonio Giner. 

The bodies were found at Birubi Beach on Friday afternoon, along with a fuel tank and a dinghy believed to be from a yacht that left Broken Bay on Thursday.

A man, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted Marine Rescue NSW about 7.30am on Friday after being unable to reach his two middle-aged friends due to dock their yacht in Port Stephens before midday.

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Update Tuesday from the ABC:

Police have issued an alert to shipping traffic off Port Stephens to watch for any debris or signs of a missing yacht, now that a search for the vessel has been suspended.

The bodies of two men, 71-year-old Antonio Giner of Duns Creek in the Hunter Valley and his brother-in-law, 77-year-old Melbourne artist, Piers Dudley-Bateman, washed up on Birubi Beach on Friday.

Police say expert advice suggests their yacht has probably sunk and the search was called off yesterday.

Mr Giner was well known for his Spanish cooking and Brigitte Uren from Maitland Regional Art Gallery said he was a great supporter of the local arts community.

“He was very generous with his time and his food, particularly through his paellas he cooked so generously with such theatre and atmosphere and there was always a queue behind his food at our events, be they at the art gallery or wider in the Hunter,” she said. 

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