National

Brother of AFL player Michael Hibberd missing after setting off for fishing trip in Westernport Bay

Brother of AFL player Michael Hibberd missing after setting off for fishing trip in Westernport Bay

One of the two men missing off Victoria’s coast after setting off on a fishing trip amid the weekend’s wild weather conditions is the brother of Melbourne footballer Michael Hibberd.

The Herald Sun understands Mr Hibberd is the brother of Melbourne footballer Michael Hibberd.

Police have located the pair’s missing boat which washed up on rocks at Pyramid Rock, Phillip Island about 11am.

The two men have not been accounted for and the search continues.

A friend who did not want to be named told the Herald Sun Mr deSilva was an avid fisher and had been fishing for several years.

Geoff Hibberd.
Jason De Silva.

The young carpenter also played for Somerville Football Club in the Mornington Peninsula League.

The two men who have been missing for more than 24 hours after setting off on a fishing trip in Westernport Bay yesterday.

The duo left to go fishing from Flinders boat ramp before 6am on Sunday.

Police were seen turning De Silva’s friends away from the ramp and telling them not to congregate in the area due to strict social distancing rules.

A Sheen Group tow truck arrived to tow the 20-year-old’s Toyota four wheel drive with green P-plates which was parked at the base of the pier.

Strong winds and heavy rain battered the peninsula on Sunday after the two men set off on their trip, with a peak gust of 63kmh recorded at HMAS Cerberus yesterday morning.

Emergency services searched through the night after a friend raised the alarm just after 9pm as they were unable to get in contact with the pair.

Police and SES attend a briefing before continuing the search.
Friends and family of two missing fishermen gather at Flinders Pier.
Friends and family of two missing fishermen gather at Flinders Pier, including AFL player Michael Hibberd.

The boat the men took out to sea is described as a three-metre aluminium tinny with an outboard motor.

Water Police, Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue agencies, along with the Victoria Police Airwing and AUSSAR Challenger Search Aircraft are part of the search operation for the missing men.

The men regularly fish off the Flinders coast, west of Phillip Island.

Recreational fishing has been banned under Victoria’s strict stay-at-home directions amid the coronavirus crisis.

Police at the scene of the search.
A helicopter searches for the two men.
Victoria was battered by wild weather yesterday.

In a series of FAQs, the government said: “You can only leave your home for one of the four permitted reasons [shopping for food and necessities, assessing medical services or providing care, attending work or education, and exercise].

“Going fishing is not one of them, unless it’s your normal job.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact triple-0.