Fishos winched off capsized boat
FOUR fishermen say they are lucky to be alive after their boat capsized off North Queensland yesterday.
Two brothers, their cousin and an uncle were left shivering on top of their overturned eight-metre catamaran powerboat when one of the hulls began taking on water in rough seas about 130km off Mackay around 4.40am.
‘‘It was so cold, waves were just breaking over us and then there was the wind,’’ said survivor Andy Milosevic.
Another survivor, Nick Lehner, said the radio was working, but they could not pump out the starboard bilge and tried unsuccessfully to bail out the sinking vessel manually.
‘‘It got to the stage where it just flipped and we jumped on the roof (hull) and, you know, prayed,’’ Peter Milosevic said.
Eventually, they managed to dive under the hull to activate an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
They waited another hour, until about 8am, for the CQ Rescue Service chopper to reach them, winch all four to safety and fly them back to Mackay, where they underwent a hospital check-up before being allowed to go home.