Four recreational spear fishers were rescued this morning after their 4.8 metre vessel capsized and sank off Broughton Island, near Port Stephens, New South Wales soon after setting out on a fishing trip.
AMSA Response Centre (ARC) Duty Manager Joseph Zeller said the Westpac 4 rescue helicopter was tasked to the scene after the vessel’s EPIRB was detected just after 7.20am.
‘Because the vessel owner had done all the right things—registered the EPIRB, told his emergency contact where they were going and when they were expected back home—we were able to initiate a rescue quickly, knowing what we were dealing with,’ Joseph said.
The four people on the stricken boat also had time to set off a flare, alerting a fisher on a nearby recreational vessel who was able to get to the scene quickly to pull all four people to safety.
The fisherman transferred the four people to Broughton Island where they were met by the Westpac rescue helicopter and underwent a medical assessment.Marine Rescue Port Stephens then transferred the four men to Port Stephens where an ambulance was waiting to conduct further assessment.
The owner of the stricken vessel had all the right emergency equipment and knew how to use it.
‘Setting off the flare resulted in a rescue soon after their vessel capsized, which meant that when rescue authorities arrived on scene, the four people were out of immediate danger,’ Joseph said.
‘We can’t stress enough the importance of having your safety equipment in order. This rescue is a good example of how smoothly rescue authorities and others around you can respond when you have the right equipment, it’s accessible in the event of an emergency, and you know how to use it.’
Thank you to all those involved in this successful rescue.