Men missing at sea for five days ‘in relatively good spirits’

Two South Australian men missing at sea for five days are "in relatively good spirits and in good health", just hours after the police search for their vessel was called off.

Tony Higgins, 57, and Derek Robinson, 48, left Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula in a 30-foot older wooden-hulled fishing boat bound for Goolwa about 3pm on Thursday, South Australia Police said.

Derek Robinson and Tony Higgins have been at sea since last Thursday.Credit:South Australia Police

The pair reported engine trouble to a friend about 11pm on Friday, telling them they were going to divert to nearby Kangaroo Island.

The men did not make any more contact and a large rescue operation was launched on Sunday.

South Australia Police, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Royal Australian Air Force and Kangaroo Island and Volunteer Marine Rescue searched more than 103,000 square kilometres before the operation was suspended on Wednesday night.

However, just hours after the operation was suspended, Mr Higgins made a call to Victor Harbor police station, notifying them that they were located at Salt Creek, along the Coorong.

The two men left in an older wooden fishing boat last Thursday.Credit:SA Police

A police operation is under way on Thursday morning to locate the men.

"Our water operations unit are working now and a search and rescue aircraft is on the way from Canberra," a South Australia Police spokesperson said, adding that the men were "in relatively good spirits and in good health".

The rescue team was expected to reach the men before 7am.

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