Allan "Cookie" COOK

Allan Cook, 59 was reported missing on May 1 and was last seen at Dickson Inlet at Port Douglas on April 9


Mates tell of Port Douglas boatie Allan ‘Cookie’ Cook

Mates have told of a mad punter and kind-hearted friend as the search for the 59-year-old man missing in the Dickson Inlet reaches a dire stage.

A 59-YEAR-OLD Port Douglas man who fell into Dickson Inlet after suffering a medical episode has been identified as Allan Cook, affectionately known as Cookie.

Police have CCTV vision of Mr Cook walking along a jetty, falling off the end and being washed away by the current in a very high tide.

Police yesterday said the search for Mr Cook would continue but they held grave fears for him.

His best mate of over 20 years and fellow boatie Garry D. White saw the footage and identified Cookie himself.

“It’s just so sad,” he said.

“He was adamant he wanted to live on his boat but his health was going downhill.”

Mr Cook suffered from epilepsy brought on by a car accident in his 20s.

Mr White said Cookie had already been pulled out of the water three times because of his health.

“But because of the virus, no one was around to help him this time,” Mr White said.

Cookie had a passion for boating, punting and was a massive Collingwood supporter.

“He was pretty tight lipped about tips and that sort of thing,” Mr White said.

“One time we were on the boat coming into Cooktown on Melbourne Cup Day. I barely had the anchor ready and Cookie pretty much jumped off the boat, ran up the jetty straight to the TAB.

“A little bit later he came running out with a paper in his hand screaming ‘I knew it’. He had won $1000 on a horse and he offered to shout me dinner.”

Cookie was kind hearted, faithful to his mates and he always put his hand up to help someone out.

“He’s an unforgettable character,” Mr White said.

“If he could give something, he’d give it.

“Everyone around here looked out for him and understood his circumstances. He was always sitting up at his table with a big grin on his face.”

Mr White said Cookie loved his son who lived in Western Australia and always spoke highly of him.

Mr White thought Mr Cook was on a planned trip out of town but a newspaper found in his shopping bag helped police pinpoint a date of when he was last seen.

“He bought the (Port Douglas and MossmanGazette every Thursday. There’d be no reason for him to have it three weeks later,” Mr White said.

The search for Mr Cook will continue on Friday.



Croc attack suspected in disappearance of Anthony Vanharen as search for Allan Cook is called off

Two missing men in Far North Queensland have both been presumed dead by authorities, with one man feared to have been taken by a 3.5-metre crocodile.
Police have made the tough decision to end the search for 59-year-old Allan Cook who went missing from Port Douglas.
While authorities believe 42-year-old Anthony Vanharen, who went missing near Weipa, was taken by a crocodile which had been sighted in the area.
Mr Vanharen was last seen on his boat at Winning Point near Weipa on the April 30, but it was found washed ashore and unattended two days later.
Police believe he might have been attacked while trying to move his vessel.
"We suspect Mr Vanharen has been taken by a 3.5-metre crocodile that has been sighted in the area," Far North Assistant District Officer Mark Lingwood said.

Weipa Police Acting Inspector Kevin Goan revealed the Department of Environment and Science had been called in to assist with investigations.


"There are a number of crocodiles identified within the area so it's up to the experts to suggest possible courses of action by those animals at the time," Mr Goan said.
Meanwhile, two police divers have conducted their final search of the Dickson Inlet at Port Douglas in the hope of locating Mr Cook's body.
The 59-year-old was last seen on April 9 and reported missing on May 1 after his family were unable to contact him.
Police say Mr Cook was spotted on CCTV walking along a jetty before falling off and being washed away by a high tide.
 "These are our last efforts…we've had those difficult discussions with the family. Arrangements will be made for the family to come to Cairns once the travel restrictions are lifted," Mr Lingwood said.

Police divers unable to find the body of missing man Allan Cook

SERT officers armed with rifles were on croc watch as police divers scoured the Dickson Inlet in an effort to locate the body of a Port Douglas man who has been missing for a month.

Police divers have been unable to find the body of 59-year-old Allan Cook in Dickson Inlet at Port Douglas.

It’s believed Mr Cook, who had a form epilepsy, fell into the water after suffering an episode and was last seen on Thursday, April 9.

Specialised divers from Brisbane combed through an area underneath the Port Douglas Yacht Club pontoon in an effort to locate the body of Mr Cook yesterday afternoon.

SERT and rangers from the Department of Environment and Science armed with rifles were on croc watch as divers scoured the water at low tide in a barrier net.

Port Douglas police officer-in-charge Sergeant Damian Meadows said search efforts had been challenging due to environmental factors like tidal flow and the time frame of when Mr Cook was last seen.

“There’s a high probability that if the missing person had drowned and passed away, he has most likely been swept out to sea,” Sgt Meadows said.

“We’ll continue to look at different avenues and we’ll be heavily reliant on public information to bring anything to light.

“The object is to give the family some closure, we owe it to them to do as much as we possibly can.”

Sgt Meadows said the tragic circumstances have motivated local boaties to create their own ‘Care Army’.

“They’re making contact with one another on a more regular basis, they’ll yell out to one another as they’re driving past and have a group text,” he said.

Sgt Meadows said the coronavirus helped create a ‘perfect storm’ of events that led to Mr Cook’s death.

“The Yacht Club is normally open for business when he disappeared and there was a lack of vessel traffic and witnesses because of COVID-19.”

Mr Cook, better known as Cookie among locals, was described by mates as an unforgettable character, kind-hearted and a mad punter.

The family said Cookie always wanted to be buried at sea. A report will be prepared for the coroner.