It is believed around 11:00am the jet ski crashed into the edge of Lake Moondarra, striking the boy as he was standing on the bank. A 34-year-old man — the father of the missing boy — and his six-year-old son were riding the jet ski at the time of the incident.
They were both taken to Mount Isa Hospital, where the boy is being treated for suspected fractures and internal injuries while the man remains in a serious but non-life-threatening condition with head injuries.
Queensland Police Superintendent Kev Guteridge said while speed was a factor in the crash, it was not clear how the watercraft came to strike the nine-year-old boy.
"We believe the water craft was being ridden at very high speed, the exact circumstances of how it collided with the bank and struck the boy we don't know," he said.
"For some reason, the jet ski has collided with the bank, which also resulted in the young nine-year-old boy being struck by the jet ski at high speed, tragically as a result of that the boy we believe was thrown in the water he hasn't been sighted since.
"The father and son who were located were thrown onto the bank after the impact."
Police and the State Emergency Service (SES) searched for the missing child using a helicopter, ground crews and swift water rescue crews.
"The real tragedy out of this event is that this nine-year-old still has not been located despite an extensive search conducted by [the] SES, [the] LifeFlight helicopter and police," Superintendent Guteridge said.
"This is just one of those timely reminders for everyone that tragedy can strike in a split second as a result of people out here just enjoying a fun day."
Lake Moondarra is a popular spot for weekend campers and boaties. The search was suspended in the evening and will resume on Sunday morning.
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