News -

Missing Fisherman Found

AMSA has taken over coordination of the search for a prawn fisherman, now missing at sea for 13 hours.

Earlier today the RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter crew located the Skipper of the 50 foot vessel, who was adrift in a small inflatable life-raft.  He was suffering minor lacerations and hypothermia but was otherwise unharmed.

Crewman Tony Preston was winched down to the 54 year old Gold Coast man who was secured in a hypothermic strop and winched safely on board the helicopter.

The man told the chopper crew his ship-mate was still missing.

“He said they had the prawn nets out and were trawling when something snagged and the boat flipped about 2am, said Tony Preston, Check and Training Crewman.

“He and his deck-hand were apparently both in the wheel-house and he said the last he saw of his deck-hand was him trying to get out, Mr Preston said.

“The Skipper said he was trapped in an air-pocket inside the wheel-house for about two hours and finally decided to feel his way out in total darkness.

“He told us he made it to the bow and stayed there for about five hours when she started going under from the stern.  Luckily the life-raft deployed and he was able to climb onto that and activate its beacon, Mr Preston said.

Overflying aircraft detected the beacon and raised the alarm.  The helicopter was deployed at 10:30 and was able to home in on the beacon, 14NM east of South Port where a flare assisted the crew to spot the raft.

The man was airlifted to Gold Coast Airport in a stable condition where he was met by a road ambulance and taken to Gold Coast Hospital in a stable condition.  He has since been discharged.

*This rescue mission was completed when the Sunshine Coast service operated as AGL Action Rescue prior to the July 1 2013 merger with CareFlight Group Queensland.