Boat rescue on north coast Kangaroo Island

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photos: Brad Jamieson
VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photos: Brad Jamieson

The Kangaroo Island community rallied to help when a fishing boat rapidly submerged off the north coast on Wednesday, January 6.

The 7.5-metre aluminium catamaran was fishing at anchor about 14km off Cape Cassini when the owner and five teenagers on board noticed it was taking on water at about 9.30am.

They immediately pulled anchor and started motoring back to shore but the outboards and electrical system then failed.

Unable to access the water below deck and with one hull filling, the vessel flipped, becoming partially submerged in the space of less than a minute.

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photo: Brad Jamieson

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photo: Brad Jamieson

The owner was able to access and activate his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, while floating debris including a foam mattress was gathered as all six clung to the hull, now riding vertically in the water.

Most fortuitously, the owner's iPhone is waterproof and so he was able to call a friend at Emu Bay who knew their location and was able to raise the alarm.

Carol Miell at the American River Volunteer Marine Rescue radio base kept track of communications on VHF radio.

Sean Pearce from Emu Bay Fishing Charters was fishing in the vicinity and arrived within half an hour of the vessel going down taking all on board.

Thanks to the EPIRB activation, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had called his phone offering a helicopter, but by then they could see the charter boat approaching,

The charter boat was able quickly to pinpoint the vessel thanks to the flares set off by the owner.

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photo: Brad Jamieson

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photo: Brad Jamieson

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photo: Brad Jamieson

VESSEL SALVAGE: The stricken catamaran was salvaged by the Jamieson's boat and another private vessel back to Emu Bay. Photo: Brad Jamieson

Anton and Bradley Jamieson from Jamieson Marine arrived shortly thereafter and were able to secure the vessel to their own.

Then by chance a large 22-metre private vessel making its way along the north coast, which towed the stricken catamaran the rest of the way to the Jamieson's beach at Emu Bay where it was recovered.

The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, thanked everyone involved and said the rescue operation went amazingly smoothly, with his party in the water for less than half an hour.

He apologised for interrupting the day of Mr Pearce and his clients on board the charter boat, offering to compensate them.

He also thanked the Jamiesons for their quick assistance, dropping everything in their Kingscote workshop to rush out, calling them the "gurus" of Kangaroo Island boating.

From now on, he was always going to have an easily accessible waterproof "ditch bag" containing life jackets and other emergency gear.

"We were well prepared, but these things can develop quickly and before you know it, you're in the water," he said. "A big thank-you to all in the community for helping make the best result possible and the support since the incident."

This story Boat rescue on north coast Kangaroo Island first appeared on The Islander.

Comments

Discuss "Boat rescue on north coast Kangaroo Island"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.