At 08:26am on Thursday 6December 2018, Strahan Marine Police responded to a report of an upturned vessel south of Cape Sorell with two men in the water. One of the passengers had made the distress call via mobile phone, stating that they were in the area of Edwards Bay and were floating out to sea, Tasmania Police say.
The police vessel Pillara III responded from Strahan and travelled to the search area. The stricken vessel was quickly located, with the passengers clinging to it. The two men were taken aboard the police vessel uninjured, and their upturned 4.5m aluminium vessel was towed back to Macquarie Harbour. They had been recreational diving in the area.
“I’d like to thank Tassal and Gordon River Cruises for providing their vessels, as well as the paying passengers on Spirit of the Wild that detoured from their cruise route to assist police in the search,” Constable Wayne Bradford said.
“The stricken vessel was carrying all the required safety equipment, but it was not readily accessible. Although the accident was caused by a rogue wave, the prevailing fair conditions assisted greatly with the location and rescue of the people involved. Had the sea conditions been more difficult, the lack of access to the safety equipment would likely have impeded rescue attempts. Too often when I’m checking vessels safety equipment, it isn’t readily accessible. These fishermen were relatively experienced boaters and they still had a serious misadventure. I’d urge all fishers that travel to the West Coast to be extra mindful of the conditions over here, and make sure that the required safety equipment is not only carried on board, but kept in a readily accessible location.”
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