Yeppoon water police and the Keppel Sands Coast Guard work to refloat the six-metre boat on Sunday before it could be towed.
Yeppoon water police and the Keppel Sands Coast Guard work to refloat the six-metre boat on Sunday before it could be towed. File photo.

Boat refloated after tragedy

A SPUR-of-the-moment decision by the crew of yacht Mum and I may have saved the lives of three people left floating in the sea after their boat capsized.

It emerged yesterday that those aboard Mum and I had decided to try a new fishing spot on Saturday, but en route changed their minds in favour of a spot they had fished regularly.

The change of heart led them to a mother and father and their five-year-old daughter floating in the water near Hummocky Island, about one hour from Yeppoon.

Yesterday, Keppel Sands Coast Guard flotilla commander Ray Wilkinson said if the trio had not been seen by the Mum and I crew, they may still have been in the water yesterday.

The Gracemere couple tragically lost their 16-month-old son who drowned.

Mr Wilkinson said if the family had logged their trip with the coast guard, it could have safeguarded against possible further tragedy.

“To log on with the coast guard flotilla unit remains a priority that can’t be stressed more,” he said.

Flotilla commander Wilkinson said the coast guard had no knowledge the family was on the water and if they hadn’t returned, the coast guard wouldn’t have known where to look.

“The alarm would have only been raised at the earliest Sunday or today,” he said.

“They launched from Port Alma which is very remote.”

On Sunday morning the family’s six-metre power boat was refloated and towed back to Hummocky Island where water was pumped out, and it was towed to Rosslyn Bay, a joint effort by the coast guard and the water police.

Mr Wilkinson said the boat sank in 30 metres of water.

The boat remains in a holding yard as police investigations are continuing, with an inspection of the boat to be completed.

Police had not released the name of the boy yesterday.

Police investigate boat modifications

AUTHORITIES will investigate whether "home-made" modifications contributed to the sinking of the boat.

Keppel Sands Coast Guard flotilla commander Ray Wilkinson said police would also investigate whether "home-made" modifications to the boat had contributed to its sinking.

"The boat should not have been as tall as it is, it's very tall for its length," he said.



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