Rescue crews call for more care on ocean

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Sea Rescue crews are calling for safety on the water.
Camera IconBunbury Sea Rescue crews are calling for safety on the water. Credit: South Western Times, Bunbury Sea Rescue

BUNBURY rescue crews are pleading for safety on the water following a spate of rescues over the past week.

The latest mission on Sunday took the Bunbury Sea Rescue crew more than five hours to tow a 6m fishing boat back to safety.

The boat, carrying two men, experienced electrical problems and was eventually located 22km north-west of Bunbury.

Another two men had to be winched to safety last week after their boat capsized about 18km off Bunbury’s coast.

The RAC Rescue Helicopter pulled the men to safety about 5.30pm on Thursday when their twin-hulled powerboat ran into trouble and they triggered an EPIRB distress beacon.

The upturned 7.9m boat – believed to be brand new – could not be recovered and had yesterday floated north to the Mandurah Cut, according to Bunbury Sea Rescue commander Albert Fullerton.

Mr Fullerton described the conditions of the ocean during last week’s rescue as a “washing machine”.

“A wave was coming from one direction and there was another coming from the other direction,” Mr Fullerton said.

He said volunteers had performed four rescues over the past week and boat users needed to assess if it was safe to go out on the water in the conditions.

“With quite sloppy conditions lately, unless you’ve got a decent size boat I wouldn’t go out,” he said.

“The boat last week was 50 nautical miles out and by the time they turned around to come back the sea breeze picked up and it doesn’t take long for a wave to whip up.

“As soon as the sea breeze comes in, head home, don’t risk it.”

He said while electrical problems on boats were sometimes unavoidable, boat owners needed to be prepared for any situation. An extra battery and back-up fuel should be kept on-board.

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