A SEARCH for a former Cobden man missing in wild seas off the Gold Coast has been called off until tomorrow.
Gavin Kelly, 39, was washed overboard when a fishing trawler overturned about 2am on Friday.
Queensland Police said it was believed the boat, with two people of board, struck a submerged object or became stuck in nets.
Mr Kelly, who was working as a deckhand, was washed off the boat and is still missing.
The boat's skipper remained in the vessel for several hours before getting into a life raft and activating an EPIRB as the trawler began to sink.
He was rescued by helicopter 10 hours later and taken to Robina Hospital suffering from hypothermia.
Strong winds, heavy rain and wild seas are hampering search efforts.
Water police combed the 80-square nautical mile area this morning but were forced to return to shore as conditions deteriorated.
"Conditions are bad and getting worse," a police spokesman told The Standard this afternoon.
"There is lots of rain, big seas and no visibility. All we can do is reassess it in the morning.
"We're still holding out hope because of the water temperatures up here. It's a lot different to down your way, but it's just terrible at the moment because of the weather."
Mr Kelly grew up in Cobden but has been living in Queensland with his family for about 10 years.His twin brother, Stephen, died in December 2009 after a pearl diving accident off the Northern Territory coast.
A Facebook page has been set up urging people to support the search for Mr Kelly and "put him back to his family where he belongs".
More in tomorrow's Standard