Boat under tow by Yeppoon Rescue 1 from north of Island Head Creek.
Boat under tow by Yeppoon Rescue 1 from north of Island Head Creek.

Family’s terrifying close call in near-sinking at GKI

SUNNY skies for most of the weekend was sure to entice plenty of eager boaties out onto Capricorn Coast waters, though it was not all smooth sailing.

Busy waters and easy-made mistakes were enough to keep Coast Guard Yeppoon busy throughout both Saturday and Sunday – with the service responding to at least four major incidents.

Saturday involved Yeppoon Rescue 1 being first deployed to assist a 6m powerboat with six people on board, including four adults and two young children after the skipper feared it might sink.

A Coast Guard Yeppoon spokesman said: “The owner had called for help as his boat was possibly at risk of sinking, with water coming in through a hole in the bow, and the bilge pump not able to keep up with the inflow.”

It was further confirmed the vessel’s owner was eventually able to plug the concerning hole with a rock and other material after beaching at Butterfish Bay at Great Keppel Island.

A yacht under tow from Wreck Beach, Great Keppel Island early last week.
A yacht under tow from Wreck Beach, Great Keppel Island early last week.

Family members were later taken aboard by the coastguard, while the skipper navigated the boat back to Rosslyn Bay Harbour, arriving at 10.40am shadowed by Yeppoon Rescue 1.

While in progress, concerned parents also contacted the coast guard after receiving an emergency text from their adult son who was out boating with his young family around The Keppels.

No description of the type of emergency or vessel details were provided apart from a possible location map reference.

“When [the parents] arrived, Coast Guard members were able to identify the position as adjacent to Conical Island.”

“[Coast Guard Yeppoon] also learnt one of the children of the boat owner had accidentally initiated the emergency text,” the spokesman said.

Flares and EPIRBS collected at Coast Guard Yeppoon over one week.
Flares and EPIRBS collected at Coast Guard Yeppoon over one week.

It was a similar story for Sunday, with sunny conditions providing an enticing drawcard resulting in many people getting out on the water early.

Around 9.30am Coast Guard Yeppoon received its first call of the day after a 6.7m power boat reportedly lost its engine oil, rendering it disabled north of Island Head Creek.

The mission would quickly result in a six-hour operation with the vessel and its two passengers later towed back to Rosslyn Bay Harbour just after 4pm.

During this time the owner of a 10m power boat called to report he had run out of fuel in the vicinity of Half Tide Rocks.

Skipper Jim Warren of Marine Assist Rescue delivered fuel to the incapacitated vessel without any further assistance.



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