‘Goners’ - radio star saved from sinking yacht
A HIGH-PROFILE Gold Coast broadcaster is lucky to be alive after a high-stakes rescue from a sinking boat, which is now under police investigation.
Bridget Daley, a longtime host on 92.5 Gold FM's breakfast show, was one of four people choppered to hospital after a yacht smashed into rocks in the Whitsundays this month.
Speaking about her holiday drama for the first time, Ms Daley told the Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday:
"I don't know how any of us got out of it. I thought we were all gone. I'm not being dramatic.
The boat was breaking up - it was smashing and smashing and smashing against the rocks in the dark," Ms Daley said.
A police statement yesterday confirmed they were investigating the cause, if the 22-foot yacht was being operated safely and any probe would determine if drugs or alcohol were a factor.
An emergency call from a mobile phone sparked a full-scale rescue operation after the vessel ran aground about 7pm at Keswick Island, 30km from Mackay.
When the chopper arrived at the scene, the yacht appeared half sunk, an RACQ CQ Rescue statement said at the time.
"The four managed to escape the single hull yacht as it slowly began to sink and climbed up a rock face on the island and called for help," the statement added.
Volunteer Marine Rescue initially retrieved the foursome from rocks via small boat, transferring them to an airstrip on the island where the rescue chopper then landed.
Ms Daley was on board with her boyfriend and two other men in their 50s - including the skipper.
An RACQ CQ Rescue statement said the latter two were believed to be the owners.
RACQ CQ Recsue airlifted all four to Mackay Base Hospital, with one man suffering hypothermia.
Ms Daley declined to elaborate further, saying she was recording a full account of what happened to run on her show later this week.
She returned to the airwaves alongside co-hosts AJ Johnston and Spida Everitt yesterday for the first time since the incident on July 5.
A Mackay Water Police statement confirmed "the investigation is still ongoing".
Police had preliminary versions from some passengers but were yet interview the skipper, a statement said.
"Water police are continuing to investigate the cause of the incident and whether the vessel was being operated safely," the statement added.
"There have been no charges at this stage and police are yet to formally interview everyone that was on board. If drugs or alcohol were a determining factor of the crash is something that may come up during the investigation.
"What caused the boat to hit the rocks hasn't been determined yet," the statement added.
An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesman said none of the community-funded rescue organisation's costs were recoverable as it was understood a mobile phone call raised the alarm.
"Shame because it costs $7500 an hour to have the helicopter on task. If they'd actually activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon we could have recovered money from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)."