'Incredibly sad': Five missing in Torres Strait presumed dead

Dauan Island in the Torres Strait. Source: AAP

Police have advised the families of four adults and a child missing in the Torres Strait for four nights that there's little chance of finding the group alive.

The families of five people missing in the Torres Strait have been given the "terrible" news there's little chance of finding the group alive after a four-day air and sea search failed to locate them.

The nine-year-old boy, two men and two women set off from Badu Island for Dauan Island on 31 July, but never arrived.

Their empty seven-metre boat a was found on Friday afternoon about 4.5km west of Dauan Island.

Police search the area.
Police search the area.
Queensland Police

Chief Superintendent Brian Huxley says Queensland police located life jackets and an EPIRB from the boat "but regrettably, we've not been able to find the people in it."

"We've [now] delivered the terrible news to the families that we've been unable to find their loved ones," he said on Sunday from the Torres Strait.

"It's incredibly sad news not just for Dauan Island [but for] Saibai and the entire community up here in the Torres Strait."

Supt Huxley said rescuers conducted an extensive air and sea search operation covering thousands of square kilometres.

A child's body was discovered on Friday outside the search area in Papua New Guinea but police said investigations found it was "highly unlikely" the body was the missing boy.

A report will now be prepared for the coroner.

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