Fishos winched off cap­sized boat

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

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.

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