Fishermen rescued by chopper
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