Hectic week for Coast Guard Yeppoon
IN THE past week, Coast Guard Yeppoon conducted 11 rescues, the busiest week so far this year.
On Tuesday, a 10m yacht with two people on board reported steering problems 1nm south of Rosslyn Bay Harbour. RMH Rescue returned with the boat in tow at 12.30pm.
On Thursday, a Marine Assist contributor in a 6m half-cabin boat, with two people on board, reported a breakdown near Moresby Bank, 47nm northeast of Rosslyn Bay Harbour after fishing overnight. Gormans Removals Rescue returned with boat in tow at 4.10pm.
As that rescue wound up, an urgent phone call was received from occupants of a 5m tinny that had run out of fuel in rough conditions 1nm northeast of Wreck Point. Gormans Removals Rescue headed back out and took the five occupants on board before towing the boat into harbour at 4.40pm
Also that day, RMH Rescue conducted two rescues in Keppel Bay.
A Marine Assist contributor in a 6m powerboat, with two people on board, reported a breakdown off Sloping Island. RMH Rescue headed to that location at 10am but the boat was not there. While returning to the harbour, a second call gave a new location 1nm off Farnborough Beach opposite Barlows Hill. The boat was towed to harbour at 11am.
Later, a Marine Assist contributor in a 6m powerboat, with two people on board, called after a breakdown at Considine Beach. RMH Rescue returned with the boat in tow at 12.35pm.
On Friday, a 6m powerboat carrying two people broke down off Square Rocks. Gormans Removals Rescue responded, returning with the boat in tow at 12.43pm.
Late that afternoon, a 10m power catamaran, with five people on board, suffered a failure of one engine 7nm east of Barren Island. Gormans Removals Rescue responded, departing at 5.45pm and returning with the boat in tow at 9pm.
Early Saturday, a Marine Assist contributor in a 6.3m powerboat, with six people on board, requested help for a breakdown at Monkey Beach. Gormans Removals Rescue returned with the boat in tow at 10.42am.
During that operation, RMH Rescue assisted a 6m powerboat, with four people on board, halfway to Great Keppel Island. Tools were supplied to remedy the problem, returning 9.40am.
Soon after, at 11.29am, Gormans Removals Rescue left to assist a 6m powerboat carrying five people at Long Beach, returning with the boat in tow at 1.06pm.
On Sunday, there was a dramatic rescue after an anxious parent phoned at about 12.40pm to report his son and two others were on a jet ski that was sinking off Rosslyn Bay Harbour. Gormans Removals Rescue responded immediately, took the three riders off the jet ski and towed it back to Rosslyn Bay Harbour, arriving at 12.30pm.
This incident illustrates the need for all boat operators to be able to contact the Coast Guard directly without using a third party which causes delay. All boat skippers should be able to use a VHF radio or have the Coast Guard phone number recorded in their mobile phone.
An incident the previous week also provides a lesson for skippers. Shortly after 7pm on Sunday, Australian Maritime Safety Authority detected a signal from a distress beacon near Pelican Island. Yeppoon police requested RMH Rescue to divert from a trip to Great Keppel Island and search for the vessel in distress.
A 6m boat with two adults and two children on board was located and the female passenger and two children were taken on board RMH Rescue.
It appears the boat had run out of fuel, the radio was not working and their mobile phone had a flat battery. No trip report had been provided to the Coast Guard before the boat left Rosslyn Bay Harbour, so it was not reported overdue. The boat was towed to Rosslyn Bay Harbour at 8.30pm.