[Updated Monday 6.45am]
The search for a 45-year-old South Lismore man missing off his fishing boat since Friday has been scaled down.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter located the man’s fishing boat around 15km off Evans Head late on Friday and a crew member was winched onto the boat but found no-one on board.
South Lismore man Mick Endres was a professional fisherman and a board member of the Evans Head Fishing Co-op.
Mr Endres’ safety equipment was also still locked away and police hold grave fears for his safety.
A rescue crew in the Westpac helicopter is searching for a fisherman missing off Evans Head since Friday, whose boat was found yesterday (Friday).
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) tasked the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to search for the missing fisherman overdue from a fishing trip off Evans Head.
His boat, spotted by the chopper crew, was found 16 nautical miles off Evans Head.
Rescued crew member Tom Burns was winched to the vessel, a major search is now underway to locate the missing fisherman.
AMSA are co-ordinating the search from Ballina Airport, three additional helicopters, a fixed wing aircraft and numerous Coast Guard vessels are now entering into the area for a comprehensive search.
The Westpac chopper continues to search the area where the boat was found.