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Mystery after body found in busy river

SHOOTING SCENE
The body of an unknown man was discovered floating in the water on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Police are appealing for answers after they have been unable to identify a man who was found dead in a Queensland river.

Officers were called to Talep Bridge on the Sunshine Coast’s Maroochy River after a member of the public reported a body floating in the water about 8.30am on Thursday.

Queensland Police have not said whether they are treating his death as suspicious and have not yet determined the cause of death.

They are appealing for the local community to check on family members after not receiving any missing persons reports for the area.

A body has been found floating on the Maroochy River on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Picture: Seven
A body was found floating on the Maroochy River on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on Thursday. Picture: Seven

“The man is believed to be aged in his late 40s to late 50s and was wearing black shorts and a dark-coloured T-shirt,” Queensland Police described.

“The male is a solid build and wearing elastic knee supports on both knees.”

Paramedics and firefighting helped officers retrieve the body from the water on Thursday.

Police have not linked the body to missing man Matthew Balange after calling off the search for the 43-year-old who went missing on a solo fishing trip near Moreton Island, further south, on Sunday.

A widescale search for Mr Balange has come up empty-handed though police discovered his abandoned vessel two nautical miles off the northern tip of the island on Monday.

With officials tracking down his boat, they believe the avid fisherman fell overboard while reeling in a catch.

Matthew Balange failed to return from a solo fishing trip on Sunday. Picture: Facebook
Matthew Balange failed to return from a solo fishing trip on Sunday. Picture: Facebook
It’s believed he may have fallen into the water while pulling in a fish. Picture: Facebook
It’s believed he may have fallen into the water while pulling in a fish. Picture: Facebook
Mr Balange’s abandoned boat was discovered near Comboyuro Point on Monday. Picture: 9 News
Mr Balange’s abandoned boat was discovered near Comboyuro Point on Monday. Picture: 9 News

Police search and rescue co-ordinator Senior Constable Murray Lyons said the outcome was heartbreaking for Mr Balange’s family.

“Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to locate the man and bring him home to his loved ones,” Senior Constable Lyons said.

“We have liaised closely with his family and discussed the sad news regarding the likelihood of survival; they have asked for privacy.”

Mr Balange’s partner, Kylie Kolm, expressed her grief on social media.

“He has left a big hole in a lot of people …” she posted to Facebook.

“I just wish he was back.”