Parents of man missing in Australia to help in search

The parents for the missing Irishman who fell overboard from a cruise ship into the Brisbane River on Saturday night are believed to be flying to Australia to help in the search for their son.

Shane O’Halloran, aged 24, from Enniskeane in West Cork disappeared after falling into the river along with a female friend while on board the Lady Brisbane.

The couple were sitting on a railing on the middle deck of the boat about two meters above sea level and were embracing when they fell into the river about 10.30pm local time.

The woman was quickly rescued but the man hasn’t been seen since, sparking a large-scale search and rescue operation that now looks to include his parents, Noel and Theresa.

Police told local media they held grave concerns for finding the man alive after almost three days of extensive searches but stated they would continue until the man was found.

Jim Kelly from Brisbane Cruises said authorities have done checks on the Lady Brisbane to ensure it was safe and have found no problems with it.

"All the staff are upset and we've had inspections and they haven't been pointing any red sticks at us,'' he said.

"We're upset and stressed and the police have extended their area of search."

Mr Kelly added that the cruise company has an impeccable record since they began operating in 1987 and said that he preferred if people’s efforts were concentrated on locating the missing person.

Mr Kelly said: "There’s a missing person and we are using up every single resource we have to try and locate him. Every boat and all police resources, including divers, are involved in this search and we’re just praying that he’s found soon."

Mr O’Halloran has been travelling for over 18 months with a group of friends from his home place in West Cork and had taken up residency in Brisbane recently where he worked in the construction trade.

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