THE massive search continuing for two missing fisherman has moved north to take in an area from Newcastle to Broughton Island.
Damion Diamond and a Sydney man, who is being identified as a popular disc jockey, set off in a small runabout from Norah Head to nearby Bird Island despite warnings of huge seas.
They later sent a text message on Sunday night saying they had run out of fuel and were requesting help.
Despite a large scale air and sea search since Sunday night, neither men or the vessel has been seen.
Currents and weather patterns have now moved the search area north to Newcastle, with water police and other vessels continuing to look for any signs of the men.
Text message could help searchers
A TEXT message may help pinpoint the last known location of two missing anglers off Norah Heads, with search efforts to recommence on Tuesday.
Massive swell hampered authorities scouring surf off the Central Coast yesterday for Damion Diamond, 43, and an unknown middle-aged Asian man.
The pair were last seen Sunday morning pushing off at Norah Head in big surf, apparently heading to Bird Island on a fishing trip.
They were reported to have ignored warnings about the conditions before heading out.
Inspector Joe McNulty from NSW Police Marine Area Command told Macquarie Radio that one of the missing men had sent a text message on Sunday night.
The message said they were out of fuel and requested help, Inspector McNulty said.
Police were working to locate where it was sent from, Inspector McNulty said, which could help narrow the search.
Norah Head Marine Rescue unit commander Peter Murrell said a radio operator was approached on Sunday before the vessel departed, with one of the men asking to borrow a fishing rod.
‘‘[The operator] advised him not to go fishing, he ignored him and just walked out,’’ Mr Murrell said.
Mr Murrell said there were also concerns the men had limited safety gear aboard their vessel and had kickstarted the boat using a car battery.
Mr Diamond’s brother Travis Lane described his missing sibling as ‘‘a solid guy’’ who had moved to the Central Coast seeking a seachange about six weeks earlier.
Mr Lane said family, including Mr Diamond’s two children in their 20s, were staying hopeful as the search rolled on.
‘‘Until you actually hear something there’s hope and you don’t think the worst,’’ he said.
Mr Lane said his brother’s boat was usually stocked with flares and other safety equipment.
But he said the identity of the second man, which remained a mystery despite extensive inquiries, was important to Mr Diamond’s relatives.
‘‘Obviously that’s a priority,’’ Mr Lane said.
‘‘There’s another family out there.’’
Witnesses described the second man as middle-aged and of Asian appearance.
Tuggerah Lakes’ Chief Inspector Rod Peet said searching the black sedan the men had driven to the boatramp as well as a Central Coast apartment had given few new leads.
‘‘It’s difficult because all we have is a description at the moment,’’ Chief Inspector Peet said yesterday morning.
Huge surf conditions in open ocean reaching up to six metres also hampered yesterday’s rescue efforts.
Despite sheltered conditions near the Norah Head boat ramp, visible flashes of whitewater remained constant off Bird Island.
Authorities postponed their efforts about 4.30pm on Monday and are due to resume at first light on Tuesday.