Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Ballina Bar yacht drama- five beached including rescuers

by Northern Star/Sail-World Cruising on 15 Apr 2013
Ballina Bar and Shelley Beach where the overnight drama took place. No lives were lost SW
Ballina Bar drama: Five people who were plucked from high seas off the coast of Ballina early this morning, including the crew of the town's Marine Rescue boat, were lucky to have been found at all, spokesman Elton Cummings for the Ballina Jet Boat has said. One survived by staying in an airpocket under the yacht.

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 today (Monday) when the Marine Rescue was called to help a vessel struggling to get across the Ballina 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 http://www.northernstar.com.au!Northern_Star. '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. 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 bar.

The Westpac 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 the Evans Head Coast Guard and they couldn't get through the Evans Head 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 Lighthouse Beach, 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 this morning while coming to the aid of a 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 at Coffs Harbour 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.
Mackay BoatsBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

See how your smart phone can help save your life
OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is available on Android as well as through App Store. OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is now available on Android as well as through the App Store.
Posted today at 1:37 pm
High water on the great lakes – Boom or bust for boaters?
Boaters can find that deeper water under the keel may open a range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation With Great Lakes water levels on the rise and expected to continue to increase into summer, recreational boaters could find that deeper water under the keel may open a whole new range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation.
Posted on 19 May
BoatUS 2017 top 10 list of boat names and their meanings
BoatUS, issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list today, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The nation’s largest recreational boating advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), issued its 2017 Top Ten Boat Names list today, a tradition dating back a quarter decade. The names come from tallying up requests for boat names to the BoatUS Graphics service, and each reveal much about the personality of the vessel’s owner.
Posted on 18 May
Brian McGinnis takes Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship
Old Point Comfort Yacht Club hosted a multi-state field for the first 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship. Old Point Comfort Yacht Club hosted a multi-state field for the first 2017 Mid-Atlantic Regional Sunfish Championship. The race was a qualifier for the 2018 Sunfish Worlds. Winds for the weekend tended toward 20 knots or more for Saturday where only four of the nine boats entered finished the five races run on Saturday.
Posted on 9 May
North Technology buys Hall Spars from receivership
North Technology Group (NTG) has announced the acquisition of the Hall Spars business out of receivership. North Technology Group (NTG) has announced the acquisition of the Hall Spars business out of receivership. The Hall Spars US parent company announced in early 2017 that it would be closing the doors due to well publicized financial challenges. The acquisition covers Auckland and Brekens and Hall Spars will re-establish in Rhode Island
Posted on 9 May
Coast Guard finds Aids-to-Navigation shot and sunk near Block Island
Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis discovered a buoy sunk in water with bullet holes, near Block Island, Rhode Island. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis discovered a buoy sunk in the water with bullet holes, Monday, near Block Island, Rhode Island. The crew was conducting regular aids-to-navigation maintenance when they approached Clay Head buoy number 7 and found it submerged. The crew raised the 12,000-pound buoy and found 20 bullet holes in it.
Posted on 28 Apr
A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted on 25 Apr
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018
Boat International partners with NZ Millennium Cup 2018 to celebrate superyacht regatta’s tenth anniversary Boat International Media, the global authority on superyachts and the luxury lifestyle that goes with them, has today announced that it will be partnering with the NZ Millennium Cup superyacht regatta, to be held in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands in January 2018.
Posted on 22 Apr
A Few Rays - What is Broad Spectrum Protection?
What is Broad Spectrum sunscreen? Ultraviolet rays only make up a small proportion of all of the sun’s rays. What is Broad Spectrum sunscreen? Ultraviolet rays (UVA, UVB and UVC) only make up a small proportion of all of the sun’s rays. UVA and UVB sun-rays are however the biggest contributors to skin damage from sun.
Posted on 19 Apr
Coast Guard urges boating safety common sense
Coast Guard reminds mariners that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold The Coast Guard is reminding mariners Friday that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold. With the rise in air temperature, the number of boaters, paddle craft users, and water enthusiasts taking to water activities also rises.
Posted on 15 Apr