Fish­er­men res­cued by chop­per

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

FOUR young men on a week­end fish­ing trip have been winched to safety af­ter spend­ing the night in high winds on Cairns Reef off Cook­town.

The group from Wu­jal Wu­jal Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity in Far North Queens­land are be­lieved to have flipped their 4.2m dinghy when it hit the reef, con­cussing one man.

Wu­jal Wu­jal Abo­rig­i­nal Shire Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Eileen Deemal- Hall said the tight- knit com­mu­nity had spent a sleep­less night wor­ried about the men, all young fa­thers and lead­ers in their com­mu­nity.

“It’s a mir­a­cle they sur­vived,” she said “It got to 25 and 30- knot winds.”

The alarm was raised at 8pm on Satur­day when the men failed to re­turn home.

Po­lice said a he­li­copter found the men early yes­ter­day about 15km off Cook­town.

They were flown to Cook­town Hos­pi­tal for as­sess­ment. MORE than 11,000 footy fans turned out in Cairns yes­ter­day to see the Cow­boys belt the South Syd­ney Rab­bitohs 23- 10.

Cairns was at its glo­ri­ous best as the ac­tion from Bar­low Park was beamed across Aus­tralia on Chan­nel 9 and Fox­tel.

The Cow­boys were with­out i in­jured su­per­stars Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, and the crowd of 11,217 was be­low last year’s at­ten­dance, but the NRL event was hailed a suc- cess and is fu­elling calls for it to be­come a per­ma­nent fix­ture.

With the Rab­bitohs set to re­turn to Cairns in 2018, lo­cal rugby league power­bro­kers and com­mu­nity lead­ers be­lieve the Syd­ney club’s trop­i­cal match against the Cow­boys could be­come a main­stay.

Cairns Dis­trict Rugby League’s Pat Bai­ley said: “I’d re­ally love to see more of what we’ve got here to­day.

“We’ve got so much more to of­fer ... we could have one ( an NRL game) ev­ery week and it would get sup­ported.”

The game was just the Cow­boys’ sec­ond NRL fix­ture in Cairns since 2001 and Ms Bai­ley said it would be great to see more games played there.

“What Souths are do­ing for Cairns is great,” she said. “A Cow­boys home game in Cairns would be great … a lot of peo­ple can’t af­ford to go to Townsville.” MATCH RE­PORT, SPORT

PRIDE: Cow­boys star Ja­son Tau­malolo meets fans in Cairns.

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