by Ken McManus
Volunteers from Marine Rescue Evans Head have rescued six people - including two children - after their yacht sank 500m offshore south of Evans Head this morning.
Marine Rescue Evans Head rescue vessel Evans Head 30
The crew of Evans 30 found the four adults and two children on the open sea off Red Hill on the 50-foot yacht’s small aluminium tender and a surfboard as they drifted towards the coastline.
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos has congratulated the members of the rescue crew for their rapid and professional response to save the yacht’s passengers.
'These six people are incredibly fortunate to be alive and safe today,' Commissioner Tannos said.
'Our mission is to save lives on the water. These members of Marine Rescue Evans Head have again demonstrated the skill and experience of our crews and the value of our modern rescue fleet and dedicated training.'
MRNSW Northern Rivers Regional Controller Stephen Reading said Lismore Police had alerted the unit to the emergency about 10.40am.
'Scott Mohr and Tony McNally quickly deployed Evans 30 and were on the scene within half an hour,' Mr Reading said.
'The crew of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter identified an oil slick and debris to the east, where the yacht had sunk. Our crew found the six people as they drifted towards the shore and had them safely on board by 11.11am.
'The passengers had managed to escape the yacht, on to the tender, before it went down.'
He said Evans 30 had returned the six to shore at Evans Head, where they were met by Police and NSW Ambulance officers.
Mr Reading said conditions had eased after the weekend, with a southerly wind and 1.5-2m seas.