Eskies to rescue
Four men cling to Eskies after their boat sinks
SEVEN people have been plucked from rough seas off Townsville at the weekend in three separate incidents, including one which saw four men desperately clinging to Eskies after their boat sank.
The men were fishing near Keeper Reef off Cleveland Bay at 7.30am yesterday when their boat first started taking on water.
After losing radio contact, the men were forced to set off their EPIRB and eventually abandon the sinking boat.
They were spotted by the Emerg e n c y Manage ment Queensland rescue helicopt e r s e v e r a l h o u r s l a t e r around midday and picked up by the Coastguard soon after at 1pm.
V o l u n t e e r C o a s t g u a r d spokesman David Ede said the men were all thankfully unhurt but the story could have easily turned out much differently.
‘‘ The conditions were quite horrendous. They did everything right. They let the EPIRB off, clung to each other, had their life jackets on and kept calm.
‘‘ These people were members of our rescue register and we were able to keep their relatives informed until we returned them to their families at 3.45pm.’’
Townsville Coastguard perf o r m e d s e v e n r e s c u e s , mostly t ows, during t he weekend compared to the usual two or three.
EMQ pilot Mike Toms said the crew were headed back BOAT LOST: A Townsville man travelling from Magnetic Island
was rescued after falling from his vessel to Townsville when they got a second call for help.
‘‘ We were headed back to Townsville at 1.05pm when we were contacted by Townsville water police who said there were reports of two people clinging to an up- turned kayak just off Cape Pallarenda,’’ he said.
‘‘ After a short search we located those two people and using the rescue winch, recovered them to the aircraft.
‘‘ They were assessed by our doctor on board and they didn’t require medical attention so they were returned to the base and interviewed by the water police.’’
In a third incident a man was rescued by a private fishing boat after falling off his vessel on the way back to Townsville from Magnetic Island. The man left the island at 10pm on Saturday and police were called at 1.30am yesterday when he failed to return home.
Townsville Water Police conducted an aerial and sea search of the area and he was picked up out of the ocean several hours later by the fishing vessel but no trace has been found of his 4.9m boat, a white Shark Cat named Bulldog II, which has two 250hp Daihatsu motors.
Anyone who has seen the vessel should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.