Missing fisherman prompts emergency search in CQ waters
A MISSING person and numerous breakdowns were only some of the incidents which made for an eventful weekend on the water for Yeppoon’s dedicated coast guards.
While conditions displayed only light winds and mostly clear skies, it appeared eager boaties were not immune to an array of mechanical issues.
Around 1pm Saturday a fisherman phoned to relay a message from the sole occupant of a 5m power boat that lost both electrical power and radio communication near Outer Rock.
Trouble was encountered a short time later, however, after the vessel was nowhere to be found near its reported location – prompting an emergency response.
It was later discovered near Man and Wife Rocks and subsequently towed back to Rosslyn Bay Harbour just after 3pm.
Sunday proved the busiest for those out exploring the coastal waters, with an early morning wake-up call setting in motion what would become an action-packed day.
A call at 4.45am led to the overnight crew at Rosslyn Bay tending to a fisherman and his companion who had run out of fuel around 5 nm short of their destination.
“Marine Assist Rescue’s skipper Jim Warren delivered 20 litres of fuel and both boats returned to harbour at 6.10am,” a spokesman for Yeppoon Coast Guard confirmed.
While things remained somewhat calm across the course of the morning, Sunday afternoon quickly turned out to be anything but relaxing.
A routine Safety at Sea Training for service members ended in dramatic fashion following a call for assistance at 3pm from a broken down 5m power boat making its return from Great Keppel Island.
Three people on board were safely towed back to Rosslyn Bay Harbour by Skipper Merv Studt, arriving back close to an hour later.
While the incident was unfolding, a concerned relative phoned to report a loved one who had yet to return to shore from an overnight fishing trip.
The male reportedly set out to Flat Island Saturday evening, though failed to join Marine Assist or log on with Coast Guard before departure, leaving little details available.
Concerns were furthered after the owner’s car and trailer were spotted in the car park and attempts to contact through phone or radio calls were unsuccessful.
“The Flotilla Commander made a call to PoliceLink and a request to commence a search was anticipated.”
Fortunately, a happy ended was not far off for the man’s family after the missing vessel and blissfully unaware skipper returned around an hour later.
The afternoon was far from over though, following reports a 6.1m half cabin cruiser running out of fuel about 20nm south of Rosslyn Bay Harbour upon its return.
“Keppel Sands Coast Guard was alerted and CHSS Rescue was launched in Pumpkin Creek just before 5pm, travelling out to Hummocky Island in reasonably calm conditions with 60 litres of fuel for the stranded vessel,” a spokesman said.
Following the service’s closure, a further call for help would ensure the demanding weekend turned into a late-night stint due to a medical evacuation from GKI.
Yeppoon Rescue One, with two paramedics on board, departed Rosslyn Bay around 7.35pm to tend to a patient waiting in a 4WD on the beach, returning with the individual after 9pm.
The spokesman said the weekend proved a timely reminder of the importance of Marine Assist’s program and advising the Coast Guard of scheduled trips.