The boy remains in a critical condition at Sunshine Coast University Hospital while the men were treated for hypothermic shock. Source ABC Brisbane.
The boy remains in a critical condition at Sunshine Coast University Hospital while the men were treated for hypothermic shock. Source ABC Brisbane.

Men, boy, cling on to esky in rough seas in six-hour ordeal

OVERNIGHT UPDATE: A YOUNG child is fighting for life in hospital after a six-hour ordeal in cold and rough waters when his father's fishing boat sunk off the Caloundra coast.

It was 1.40am yesterday morning when a 39-year-old man, who was on a weekend fishing trip with his 48-year-old mate and seven-year-old son, radioed for help.

The 5.2m boat quickly sank, leaving the two men, who were not wearing life jackets to take turns holding the young boy - who was also not wearing a life jacket - out of the water, while they clung to an esky and treaded water.

Last night the boy was in an induced coma in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital with plans to fly him to a Brisbane hospital for specialised treatment if his condition doesn't improve.

The boat, named Gilly's Hammer, took on water just nine nautical miles (15km) from the Caloundra coastline, before capsizing.

EARLIER: Two men and a child, 7, were rescued off Caloundra after a dramatic six-hour search which has left the little boy fighting for his life in hospital.
Distress signals were sent to emergency services about 2am after the trio's five-metre boat capsized and rapidly took on water.

Two men are "lucky to be alive" but a child remains in a critical condition after a six-hour ordeal at sea off the Sunshine Coast on Sunday morning. 

Multiple emergency services teams scoured waters off Caloundra after the trio's boat capsized 15 kilometres off shore. 

Authorities say the 5.2 metre boat sunk "too quickly" for the men to reach their life jackets. 

All three were rescued at around 8am, suffering from hypothermia. 

The boy, 7, was on Sunday night in a critical condition at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. 

Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Kristy MacAlister said all three were very fortunate to be found.

"Having been in the water for several hours it is very lucky they were found when they were," Ms MacAlister said.

"I don't know how long any will remain in hospital, but the staff there will warm each of those people up to an acceptable temperature over a prolonged period of time.

"It's always a delicate operation when you're winching a patient up with hypothermia. As you winch them the wind temperature can decrease the body temperature further."
 

Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Kristy MacAlister said all three were very fortunate to be found when they did. Source ABC News
Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Kristy MacAlister said all three were very fortunate to be found when they did. Source ABC News

EARLIER 11.30AM: The rescue helicopter service team who pulled a seven-year-old boy off Sunshine Coast waters are praying for a quick recovery. 

A boy and two men, aged 48 and 39 were found nine nautical miles off Caloundra after their boat capsized at 2am. 

The boy remains in a critical condition at Sunshine Coast University Hospital while the men were treated for hypothermic shock. 

Brisbane-based helicopter service Rescue 500 had been searching the Caloundra waters for "about an hour" this morning. 

Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Kristy MacAlister said all three were very fortunate to be found when they did. Source ABC News
Queensland Ambulance Service Senior Operations Supervisor Kristy MacAlister said all three were very fortunate to be found when they did. Source ABC News

Sunshine Coast's Lifeflight Rescue Helicopter service had also been tasked and had responded. 

Rescue 500 crewman Bruce Fairlie said once he was winched down it was "like clockwork".

"They were just floating in the water, and very cold," Mr Fairlie said.

"It was a difficult search though, it's hard when you are looking for people in the water with a very small target area.

"We had been searching for about an hour."

He credited his fellow crewmen which included winchman Daren Parsons, pilot Darren O'Brien and flight paramedic Elliot Bates.

Mr Fairlie said he was unable to discuss the boy's condition or treatment but added "let's hope he pulls through".

Brisbane-based helicopter service Rescue 500 had been searching the Caloundra waters for “about an hour” this morning.
Brisbane-based helicopter service Rescue 500 had been searching the Caloundra waters for “about an hour” this morning.

EARLIER: 9.40am TWO men have been found after surviving a dramatic ordeal off the Sunshine Coast this morning but the child, 7 that was with them, is in a critical condition. 

The child was airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital six hours after being rescued. 

The two men, one in their 40s and one in their 30s, have been taken to the Sunshine Coast Water Police base in Mooloolaba where they've been met by paramedics and treated for hypothermic shock.

Coastguard Caloundra volunteers were out scouring "challenging" waters off Caloundra since the crack of dawn before the "relieving" call came in that the missing trio had been found.

Deputy commander Kevin Wager counted nine rescue boats and a helicopter in the six-hour search.

Mr Wager said it was crew on an anchored ship that first saw the two men and the child in the water.

"The three hadn't drifted very far we think, but it is quite difficult to pick people up in the water, the conditions were really choppy," Mr Wager said.

"We were able to find some debris which gave us a good indication we were close.

"We were just doing a line search when Brisbane water police informed us a ship had spotted them.

"The water temperature was about 21C, so not freezing but it would not have been good for a child. Thankfully it had a good outcome."

The trio went missing nine nautical miles from Caloundra at 2am, sparking a six-hour search and rescue mission.

It included Brisbane and Sunshine Coast water police, a rescue helicopter and Coastguard services.

A Queensland Police Service media spokeswoman said the three were found about 8.10am.

"A distress call was received from the owner of the boat to say it was quickly sinking but it was hard to locate them," the spokeswoman said.

"They have been located safe and well."

The two adults are returning to land.

 

MAJOR UPDATE: 8.25am: A CHILD and two men have been found "safe and well" surviving a dramatic ordeal off the Sunshine Coast this morning.

The child, aged between five and 10, has been airlifted to hospital.

The trio went missing nine nautical miles from Caloundra at 2am, sparking a six-hour search and rescue mission.

It included Brisbane and Sunshine Coast water police, a rescue helicopter and Coastguard services.

A Queensland Police Service media spokeswoman said the three were found about 8.10am.

"A distress call was received from the owner of the boat to say it was quickly sinking but it was hard to locate them," the spokeswoman said.

"They have been located safe and well."

The two adults are returning to land.

More to come.

 

BREAKING: A child and two men are missing in waters off the Sunshine Coast after their boast capsized early this morning.

A major water and air search has been launched for the trio which sent a distress call about 2am, alerting authorities that their boat was sinking off the coast of Caloundra.

A second distress sent call a short time after stated that the three people were in the water.

They could not be found when authorities searched the area they were last in overnight.

Several boats and a helicopter are now searching.



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