Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Australian River Bar yacht drama- five beached including rescuers

by Northern Star/Sail-World Cruising on 17 Apr 2013
Ballina Bar and Shelley Beach where the overnight drama took place. No lives were lost .. .
Australian River Bar drama: Five people plucked from high seas off the coast of Ballina on the eastern Australian coastline early in the morning this week, including the crew of the town's Marine Rescue boat, were lucky to have been found at all. This is according to the rescuing Jet Boat spokesman Elton Cummings

Three of those people are now in Ballina Hospital after the Marine Rescue boat capsized while trying to save the yacht, leaving them stuck on the vessel's hull for about an hour while the other crew member stayed in the air pocket.

The drama began about 1am when the Marine Rescue was called to help a vessel struggling to get across the river bar. The Marine Rescue crew tried twice to attach a tow-rope to the yacht, but each time the ropes got tangled in the vessel's propellers.

'Both boats were dragged out around the wall with the outgoing tide, and there was no time for the crew to do anything,' Marine Rescue NSW regional coordinator Stephen Reading told the local news outlet. 'They got hit by a couple of big waves and they were on the rocks.'

Mr Reading said the Marine Rescue crew and two crew from the stricken vessel were thrown into the water when the rescue boat flipped over. One of the yacht crew were caught in the air pocket under the boat. The jet boat was then called out about 2am to rescue the two crews.

At that point, the seas were running at between two metres and three metres, making it difficult to spot the yacht, the marine rescue boat, which was, by then, about two kilometres off shore, or the flashing beacons on the crew members' life jackets.

'It was only luck we found them upside down,' Mr Cummings said.

There were concerns about the crew member who remained under the boat and Mr Cummings said one of the Jet Boat crew was about to jump in the water to find him 'when he just popped up'.

The five people were transferred to the jet boat but, with so many people aboard and conditions so rough, Jet Boat skipper Mark Puglisi had decided they would not able to get safely back across the Ballina river bar.

A Life Saver Rescue Helicopter had also been called out, but was unable to winch the rescued crew members to safety in the rough conditions.

By then it was about 3am and some of the Marine Rescue crew were suffering hypothermia and showing signs of going into shock, so calls were flying to find another rescue boat that could take some of the rescued crew across the bar, or another helicopter that could winch them out in the rough conditions.

'We called the Water Police, we called another Coast Guard station and they couldn't get through their own bar,' Mr Cummings said. 'No boats could get out, it (the sea) was just too big.'

Finally, about 4am, skipper Mark Puglisi felt the rescued Marine Rescue crew could wait no longer and made the decision to run the jet boat ashore at Shelly Beach, where ambulance crews were waiting to take them away.

As for the yacht and the capsized Marine Rescue boat, both remain at sea and at time of writing neither had been seen.

Mr Reading said he believed that the Marine Rescue boat was upside-down and half-sunk off one of the beaches, and it was not known if it could be salvaged.

'Rescues in the dark and in bad conditions are always treacherous,' he said. 'Everyone is very shaken up.'
.................

Update: Rescuers nominated for bravery award:

THE CREW of the Ballina Marine Rescue boat that capsized while coming to the aid of the yacht in distress have been nominated for bravery awards.

Richmond Local Area Command duty officer acting Inspector Jackie Lilley said police contacted Don Stewart of the Marine Area Command and recommended the Ballina Marine Rescue crew be nominated for bravery awards.

Acting Insp Lilley said Mr Stewart said he would recommend the crew were honored for risking their lives to prevent a tragedy.
Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Helm Events 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan
Potential instability in Atlantic Ocean water circulation system
One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict, according to a new study. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” — could occur quite abruptly, in geologic terms, the study says.
Posted on 6 Jan
10,000 metric tons of plastic enter Great Lakes every year
A new study inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts A new study by Rochester Institute of Technology that inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in the Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts and target pollution prevention.Researchers found that nearly 10,000 metric tons—or 22 million pounds—of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year from the United States and Canada.
Posted on 2 Jan
Flood threats changing across the US
The risk of flooding in the United States is changing regionally, and the reasons could be shifting rainfall patterns The risk of flooding in the United States is changing regionally, and the reasons could be shifting rainfall patterns and the amount of water in the ground. In a new study, University of Iowa engineers determined that, in general, the threat of flooding is growing in the northern half of the U.S. and declining in the southern half.
Posted on 2 Jan
The Deepwater Horizon aftermath
Researchers analyze 125 compounds from oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different levels. Researchers analyze 125 compounds from oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different contamination levels. The oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) rig in 2010 contaminated more than 1,000 square miles of seafloor.
Posted on 1 Jan
What happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?
What happened to the 160 million gallons of oil that gushed for 87 days into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010? Six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are continually asked two questions. What happened to the 160 million gallons of oil that gushed for 87 days into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010? Was discharging 1.67 million gallons of chemicals into the ocean to disperse the oil a good or bad idea?
Posted on 24 Dec 2016
10 Best places to catch New Year’s Eve fireworks by boat
Want the best views of the NYE fireworks 2017? Check out these 10 destinations where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve Want the best views of the NYE fireworks 2017? Check out these 10 alternative destinations where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve with a bang! A new interactive map detailing the top 10 destinations to experience the fireworks by the water has been released by boat hire company Sailogy. The interactive map includes top European cities like Barcelona, Naples and Lisbon...
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
TowBoatUS comes to the Caribbean
Capt. Robert Manley has opened TowBoatUS St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Capt. Robert Manley, a New Jersey native who has been running marine businesses in the Caribbean for the last 25 years, has opened TowBoatUS St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). “I’ve been towing boats and helping boaters ever since I came to St. Thomas,” he said. “The only real difference now is that I am working with BoatUS, which has great member benefits.”
Posted on 21 Dec 2016