On 30 January 2020 at about 8pm St Helens Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) received a distress call from a yacht that had lost its mast and become further disabled with ropes fouling the propeller. This was 2.4 Nm North of the Gardens Reef, North of Binalong Bay in the Bay of Fires area. The vessel was reported to be drifting North, parallel with the coast with 2 persons on board who were attempting to anchor the boat.
The 10 metre yacht was too large to be safely towed in the sea conditions that were being experienced. The St Helens VMR launched their vessel and at about 10pm they took the two occupants on board, uninjured but cold and wet; they were safely brought back to Burns Bay near St Helens.
The vessel was left at anchor and will be retrieved during daylight; a Notice to Mariners will be issued.
Police would like to thank the St Helens VMR for their valuable assistance with the rescue; as well as the occupants of the vessel who were prepared and remained calm, making sensible decisions to assist their rescue.
All vessel operators are reminded to carry alternate means of communication such as marine radio and EPIRBs. In addition to safety equipment being required by law, it is important to remember that mobile telephones will not always be in range when you need them most.