Fairbanks man missing off Australia coast

Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008

FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man is the subject of an ocean search by Australian authorities off the coast of central New South Wales.

Jeremy Earnshaw, 23, on Monday was swept into the Pacific by a wild wave in the Munmorah State Conservation Area.

On Tuesday night, Australia police told his parents, Darryl and Ruth Earnshaw, to "prepare ourselves for the inevitable, that he probably is not alive," Ruth Earnshaw told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Earnshaw was employed by Youth With A Mission, an interdenominational Christian worldwide ministry, in nearby Newcastle.

According to Australian sources, Earnshaw was sightseeing with his girlfriend, Christina Cuppitt, and another young couple on his day off.

Earnshaw and co-worker Jesse Lee were walking along rocks on Snapper Point when a rogue wave hit.

The wave washed them into heavy seas that had pounded the coast for several days.

Witnesses lost sight of Earnshaw. A flotation device was thrown to Lee, who stayed afloat in the surf until a helicopter winched him to safety. Lee was hospitalized for hypothermia and released.

Earnshaw was a 2003 graduate of Monroe Catholic High School.

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