Australia Weather News

The SA Police helicopter searches along the Coorong for debris yesterday. - ABC

An air search for missing sailor Tony Higgins in waters south of Adelaide has resumed this morning, but police have admitted the chances of finding him alive are "diminishing".

Part of the back deck of his boat, the Margrel, equipment from it and a wallet containing Mr Higgins's identification were found washed up near the Murray Mouth yesterday, two days after he put out a distress call near Victor Harbor.

The 57-year-old man was involved in the state's biggest maritime search two weeks ago.

About 500 square kilometres of ocean off Victor Harbor, Goolwa and the Coorong has already been covered in the latest search.

SA Police Inspector Gus Sickerdick conceded the length of time missing reduced the chance of finding Mr Higgins alive.

"Obviously as it goes on the chances of doing that are diminishing," he said.

"We've got to bear in mind the nature of the surf and if he is in the ocean how it is affecting him if he has got anything to protect himself."

Police said the search had covered a wide area including around Victor Harbor and the Coorong, but efforts had been hampered by "very poor" weather conditions over the past couple of days.

"It's been impossible to see anything, given the nature of the surf and everything out there," Inspector Sickerdick said yesterday.

Police have been in contact with Mr Higgins's son to let him know his father's ID had been found, along with glasses and keys.

A commercial cockle fisherman discovered the items washed ashore several kilometres south-east of the Murray Mouth, near Goolwa, about 6:30am yesterday.