Family members and friends have joined emergency services crews today in the desperate search for missing trawler fisherman Mark Wray on the Sunshine Coast.

Deckhand Mr Wray, 32, is feared dead but rescuers are still clinging on to "every shred of hope", according to Energex Community Rescue helicopter spokesman Colin Brown.

"I know his family and friends have been walking up and down the beaches with the surf lifesavers today and I think some of his mates are out there with their boats looking.

"Realistically the chances of finding him alive are pretty slim but we always hold out hope of a happy ending in these situations," Mr Brown said.

"I don't think families ever give up until they find their loved one."

Mr Wray fell overboard from the wheelhouse of the prawn trawler Miss Melissa during perilous weather on Wednesday night.

A large-scale search was called off yesterday after harsh weather conditions made searching extremely difficult for rescue crews. A scaled-down search was conducted this morning with surf lifesavers patrolling the beach shores and the Energex helicopter patrolling overhead.

It concentrated on the coastal region between Point Cartwright and north of the village of Teerwah.

Mr Brown said he expected the search would continue tomorrow but had grave doubts about whether it would continue to Sunday.

"There's no hard and fast rule for these sorts of missions but I would imagine that by Sunday the search could be drastically scaled back or even called off," he said.

Police believe Mr Wray may have disappeared from the trawler in three to four metre seas.

Two sleeping crewmen, who awoke when the boat ran aground, managed to escape and swim to shore.