Police have towed a 5.5 metre vessel and its occupants from Saltwater Arm after a group of three fishermen failed to return from a day’s fishing.
The trio were due to return home at 3pm yesterday, with friends of the overdue party initially commencing search efforts yesterday evening in a vessel until night fell, forcing them to return to the boat ramp and notify police at 9.45 last night.
Water Police began a search and rescue this morning at five o’clock, launching a police vessel with two members on board with the aim of searching within a specific search grid. Friends and family of the group assisted in a separate vessel, enabling a more efficient and effective search.
A Police Airwing PC-12 was also deployed at 8am with a further two Water Police members on board to assist with an aerial search of the area.
Fortunately the group was found by friends at about 11am in Wilshire (Number 2) Creek, with the vessel having suffered engine failure in a location where it was not likely to have been found by other passing vessels.
Water Police members attended in their vessel, finding the males in good spirits with no requirement for medical attention.
Sergeant John Pini from the Water Police Section led the search and rescue mission and said that good preparation from the persons on board assisted them in being found quickly.
“The vessel had an EPIRB on board, however the men decided that since they were not in any danger, they would not activate it,” Sgt Pini said.
“The information they had provided to friends and family before heading out early yesterday greatly assisted search efforts and enabled us to narrow down the grid in which to look for the vessel in a complex creek system.
“We always tell people to make sure someone knows where they are going and when to expect them back, so this is a great example of the importance of that message.”
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