Hunt for radio host who did not return from fishing trip to croc-infested waters

A desperate search has been launched for a former radio host who disappeared while fishing in crocodile-infested waters.

Roman Butchaski, known as Butch, did not return from a solo fishing trip in northern Queensland, Australia, on Sunday (November 12).

Air and land searches for the veteran Sydney Radio 2GB presenter, who is in his 60s, have found his vehicle, fishing rod and personal possessions – but not him. "Butch is missing," 2GB host Ben Fordham told the station's listeners.

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Mr Butchaski's former co-host Gavin Pitchford told 2GB that his friend was a regular visitor to the fishing spot on the Olive River, located roughly 600km north of Cairns. Mr Pitchford also said he feared Mr Butchaski, who has diabetes, might have suffered a medical episode.

Fordham spoke to Harry Clarke from local news outlet Country Caller, who said: "He [Mr Butchaski] borrowed a side-by-side buggy from a friend at the well-known Bramwell Station, [travelled] about an hour to go fishing along the banks of the Olive River, and all that they’ve found is that vehicle with a few personal things such as a fishing rod.

"Like all waterways in that area [it’s] known crocodile habitat, so that’s certainly one of the things that search crews are taking into consideration as they look for Butch."

Rescue helicopters have been combing the area since Sunday night. On Tuesday (November 14) police said more officers were being sent to assist.

Senior Sergeant Duane Amos told reporters: "He’s a keen fisherman, so the expectation is anyone who fishes those areas would take all reasonable precautions in and around those waterways.

"He was certainly well prepared for a normal expedition that it would appear he’s undertaken before. When he failed to return at last light, that's when the initial search was commenced by family and friends."

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