Body retrieved: man dies of heart attack at sea
THE desperate search for a 75-year-old man on a catamaran believed to have suffered a heart attack resulted in the retrieval of a body by Whitsunday Water Police.
The Whitsunday Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR), CQ Rescue helicopter and other vessels were called out early on Saturday morning to help search for the man who had called emergency services via VHF radio saying he was having a heart attack.
It’s believed the Queensland Police Service (QPS) received the 000 call at about 4am and that the boatie, who was suffering chest pain, collapsed while on the phone.
VMR Whitsunday Vice Pre- sident Mal Priday said unfortunately the man was unable to give a location so the search began throughout Muddy Bay, Airlie Beach and Cannonvale’s anchorages.
VMR1 left at first light, searched Muddy Bay, ran back towards Abell Point Marina and had already picked up two paramedics when the base received a call at 7am from a vessel in Macona Inlet on Hook Island, responding to the VHF Securité calls.
“They said there was a vessel nearby that looked like the one we were looking for, and they were sending a crew over to check,” Mr Priday said.
“They reported back shortly thereafter that it was in- deed the target vessel, but unfortunately the only person on board was deceased.”
The police recovered the body while the VMR brought the catamaran back to Abell Point Marina, finishing the task at 5.15pm.
“(It was) a long and sad day for all involved,” Mr Priday said.