by Ken McManus
Volunteers from Marine Rescue Central Coast and Terrigal have saved two men on board a sinking open runabout about 13km east of Terrigal this morning.
Marine Rescue volunteers attach line ready for tow home to safety
The skipper of the 4.2m Quintrex called Marine Rescue Central Coast via VHF marine radio at 9.11am seeking urgent help as his boat was 'in a sinking condition' and the engine had failed.
The men reported water was entering the boat through the bung and were advised to put something in the hole to stem the flow. A sock shoved in the bunghole proved successful.
The unit’s stand-by crew, skipper Norm Smith, Ken Sharp, Peter Alderton and Robert Smith, immediately launched Central Coast 20. A crew from Marine Rescue Terrigal, skipper Deane Scadding, Bob Raison, Justin Norval and Bill Guy, also responded on board Terrigal 30.
Central Coast 20 arrived on the scene first, locating the runabout in its last known position seven nautical miles offshore. The pair on board, wearing lifejackets, had placed their emergency V-sheet on the bow to attract attention.
Central Coast 20 took the runabout under tow before transferring it to Terrigal 30, which returned the boat to shore at Terrigal Haven just before noon.
Acting MRNSW Hunter-Central Coast Regional Controller John Murray congratulated the crews on their rapid and professional response.
'These men were in a perilous position, stranded a long way offshore with a broken motor and taking water on board,' he said.
'This incident could have had a far more serious outcome if not for the swift response of the crews from Marine Rescue Terrigal and Central Coast, who ensured that the two boaters were returned safely to shore.'
Mr Murray said the vessel had Logged On with Marine Rescue Terrigal when it headed out to sea this morning.
'Marine Rescue NSW encourages all skippers to Log On with their nearest Marine Rescue unit whenever they are heading out on the water so someone responsible knows they are out there and can act quickly in the event of an emergency,' he said.