SES res­cue at Shag Islet

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY SES vol­un­teers were called to a boat strand­ing at Cape Glouces­ter in the early hours of Mon­day, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for the res­cue team to use their flood boat for the first time since its pur­chase.

A boat had be­come stranded on rocks near Shag Islet in the Glouces­ter pas­sage and the emer­gency ser­vices on scene called for SES as­sis­tance just af­ter mid­night.

Mark Con­nors of the Whit­sun­day SES said the res­cue flood boat, pur­chased through com­mu­nity fundrais­ing, was the per­fect ves­sel for the job.

“Since the tide was go­ing out and the wa­ter level was quite low, the in­flat­able flood boat was per­fect for the job,” he said.

The jet-pow­ered flood boat is the only one of its kind in Queens­land and was pur­chased through fundrais­ing by the Air­lie Beach Lions Club.

RACQ CQ Res­cue was also on scene and helped find the fish­er­man who had been check­ing crab pots in a small boat be­fore be­com­ing stranded. Dur­ing the mis­sion, RACQ CQ res­cue lo­cated the stranded boat and ob­served the man mov­ing about on the rocks in no sign of dis­tress. He was able to ac­cess higher ground on the large is­land.

The fish­er­man used a mo­bile phone to con­tact friends for as­sis­tance, who be­gan to make their way out to the islet on a boat, but af­ter their own ves­sel cap­sized they were forced to swim back to the beach and call the emer­gency ser­vices. Whit­sun­day wa­ter po­lice were con­tacted and or­ches­trated the res­cue.

The res­cue mis­sion took two hours to com­plete and the fish­er­man was un­in­jured.

RACQ CQ res­cue CEO Martin Cle­land en­cour­aged all boat own­ers and skip­pers to use the cor­rect safety equip­ment when they en­coun­tered prob­lems at sea.

“It’s para­mount boat own­ers have the cor­rect safety equip­ment aboard, it’s well main­tained and they know how to use it,” he said.

Mr Cle­land also said that boaties hav­ing an EPIRB on board helped emer­gency ser­vices to pin­point ex­act lo­ca­tions with greater ac­cu­racy, sav­ing vi­tal time and re­sources dur­ing a search and res­cue op­er­a­tion.

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