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Didrik Hurum was up to 30 metres below water when his spearfishing friends lost track of him, and police have come up with two theories on what went wrong as they scale back the search in deteriorating conditions.

Police are scaling back their search for 26-year-old Norwegian diver Didrik Hurum, who went missing off North Stradbroke Island on Wednesday.
Key points:

  • An extensive air and sea search has failed to find any sign of the man
  • Didrik Hurum is described as being an experienced diver
  • Authorities have contacted his family in Norway

Senior Sergeant Mitch Gray from Queensland Water Police said it was “very unlikely” Mr Hurum remained alive.
He said stronger currents today had worsened underwater visibility, impeding the search.
“Yesterday the search conditions were really good, today they’ve deteriorated throughout the day,” he said.
“It’s very challenging for our police divers.
“It’s very dirty and on the surface now the winds starting to pick up and our crews are reporting less than ideal search conditions.”
Water police, divers, helicopters and the coast guard had been scouring the area.
Mr Hurum was free diving and spearfishing with three friends at Flat Rock dive when he went missing 20 to 30 metres underwater.
Senior Sergeant Gray said it could be a case of “shallow water blackout”, in which high carbon dioxide levels could a person to pass out.
“It is one of the highest risk activities that you can do underwater and certainly [shallow water blackout] is a part of that game,” Senior Sergeant Gray said.
“You’re in mother nature in its wildest form and you’re holding your breath, sometimes down 38 metres for minutes at a time things can go wrong.”
‘Alternate theories on how Mr Hurum went missing’
Police believe it is possible Mr Hurum unclipped himself from his weight belt and floated to the surface, so searches are being conducted both above and below water.
“We’ve conducted a sub-surface search using police divers, and a surface search using police vessels, volunteers and aerial assets.”
Mr Hurum’s family in Norway have been alerted to his disappearance.(Facebook
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Mr Hurum is a very experienced free diver and was studying marine biology in Australia.
“He’s very fit, it’s definitely a part of his world,” Senior Sergeant Gray said.
His family have been briefed about what is likely to have happened and are “absolutely devastated”.
“Your son who is only a short way through his life, has potentially had his life taken away from him, albeit doing something that he loves but it’s still absolutely devastating.”
Senior Sergeant Gray said the search would be scaled back, but reassessed daily.
Didrik Hurum was studying marine biology in Queensland.(Facebook
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He is urging people to have discussions on safety before heading out on the water to ensure everyone is aware of what to do in an emergency.
“Potentially a conversation before the boat left the boat ramp might have been the difference or might have assisted in locating the missing person quicker,” Senior Sergeant Gray said.
“Have a conversation about what you would do in a worst-case scenario and about where your safety equipment is located in case something happens to you.”
Lifeguards had been helping to search for the missing diver off North Stradbroke Island.(Supplied: Surf Life Saving Queensland
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