Sailors rescued off Bundaberg Coast

December 21, 2022 5:49 am in by

Two men have been plucked from the ocean after their 35-foot catamaran sank just minutes after starting to take on water. 

The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper was called into action by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to a location offshore from Moore Park after the sailors’ EPIRB was activated.

AMSA received the distress signal around 3pm Tuesday and immediately tasked resources to the area.

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It’s believed the two men were travelling on the motorised yacht when it started listing to one side and quickly taking on water.

The pair tried to radio Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR), but their batteries were already swamped by sea water.

They later told their rescuers they snapped a screenshot of their position on a smart phone, showing latitude and longitude and managed to text it to VMR, along with a message saying their vessel was going down quickly.

The yachties activated their EPIRB and got their lifejackets on, with only moments to spare, before their yacht disappeared underwater leaving them floating on the surface.

As the rescue helicopter approached and the crew could see debris in the water the men set off a smoke grenade so they could be more easily spotted from above.

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It was decided the safest course of action was to winch Rescue Crewman Chris Jowsey down to the pair then hoist them one at a time up into the safety of the helicopter.

“Without their quick thinking, their preparation and without the correct safety equipment these gentlemen might not have made it,” says Mr Jowsey.

“They were lucky, though it isn’t really luck; it is good sense to be well prepared and well equipped.”

The rescued boaties were in good spirits when they were flown to the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Bundaberg base, where they were assessed by local Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) paramedics.