Search for Thomas Rae suspended

After a 10-day search, WA Police have confirmed the search for missing 25-year-old Thomas Rae will be suspended today, July 16, pending new information. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
After a 10-day search, WA Police have confirmed the search for missing 25-year-old Thomas Rae will be suspended today, July 16, pending new information. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

After a 10-day marine and land operation, WA Police have confirmed the search for missing 25-year-old Thomas Rae will be suspended today, July 16, pending new information.

The final day of the search saw two teams of SES volunteers search about 30 kilometres of rough terrain along the coastline between Shelly Beach and 11 Mile Beach.

The Esperance man had been fishing on rocks with a friend near Warrenup Beach in Dalup on Sunday afternoon, July 7.

It is understood that the friend left briefly and, when he returned, he was unable to locate Thomas.

Authorities later commenced a marine and land search, with fears that Thomas may have fallen from the rocks.

On Monday, July 8, police divers and a drone operator arrived from Perth to join the search for Mr Rae, which included two Volunteer Marine Rescue vessels, the Department of Transport, two Surf Life Saving jet skis, State Emergency Services and local police personnel.

Despite an extensive marine and land search, Thomas has not been located.

In a statement released this afternoon, Thomas' father extended thanks to emergency services personnel involved for their assistance in the search and to the Esperance community for their support.

"Like any family, we are devastated by the loss of a child and sibling," Mr Rae said.

"Fishing was one of those past times he enjoyed with family and friends.

"As a member of the Esperance Woolworth's staff, he played a valuable role in the lives of many, making their shopping a pleasant and personal experience.

"People responded to Tom's kind nature and obvious concern for the welfare of others.

"This includes the local Police, Volunteer Marine Rescue, State Emergency Services, and other volunteers and Individuals who have travelled from all over the state to assist with the search for Tom.

"The team were very comforting during these challenging circumstances and have continued to offer ongoing support to our family.

"Tom had an ability to connect and positively impact many among the public, and our family has been touched by the overwhelming support that we have received from the Esperance community over the last week.

"We will be forever grateful for this.

"We are still grieving and trying to come to terms with what has happened to Thomas."

The Esperance Community has begun a 'Go Fund Me' Page for the Rae family, with more than $10,000 raised.