Wu­jal fish­er­men res­cued on is­land

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

FIVE fish­er­men from the Wu­jal Wu­jal com­mu­nity were found sleep­ing on the sands of Hope Is­land last Wed­nes­day night af­ter be­ing stranded at sea with no com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vices.

Cairns Wa­ter Po­lice con­ducted a search and res­cue mis­sion to find the miss­ing men when they failed to re­turn home.

The men were fish­ing in the coastal waters off Wu­jal Wu­jal in their 14-foot dinghy for some recre­ational hunt­ing and fish­ing at 9.30am and were ex­pected to re­turn in the late af­ter­noon.

The wa­ter po­lice searched for the dinghy in the area be­tween Cape Tribu­la­tion and Archer Point on Wed­nes­day night but were un­able to lo­cate the men.

The men were spot­ted on Hopes Is­land at 11pm Wednes- day dur­ing a he­li­copter search but their iden­ti­ties re­mained un­con­firmed as the pilot was un­able to land.

At 7am on Thurs­day the men and the boat were sighted and po­lice were able to speak with them.

Cairns Wa­ter Po­lice Of­fi­cerin-Charge Andrew Ibell said the five men ex­pe­ri­enced me­chan­i­cal er­rors with their mo­tor.

“Three of the men de­cided to stay with their ves­sel af­ter they had fixed the mo­tor,” he said.

“These peo­ple were not be­lieved to be car­ry­ing any safety equip­ment on board and had no means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“This is a warn­ing to fish­er­men to make sure they have the re­quired safety equip­ment on board at all times.”

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