Commercial fishing crew working at Abrohlos Islands has to be rescued after being thrown into the water

Michael RobertsMidwest Times
A bird’s eye view of the Abrohlos Islands.
Camera IconA bird’s eye view of the Abrohlos Islands. Credit: The West Australian, Mogens Johansen

The crew of a commercial fishing vessel operating at the Abrolhos Islands were rescued by a nearby yacht at the weekend after their boat ran aground.

Five men were thrown into the waters off Wreck Point on Saturday morning when a big wave smashed their boat on to the reef.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident about 10am and a Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue vessel was sent to assist.

Geraldton VMR commander Damien Healy said a nearby yacht was the first responder, fishing the five men out of the water and taking them to the closest jetty.

Mr Healy’s team took two paramedics over to the islands to treat the injured crew members.

“These guys thought they were a safe distance from the reef but they ended up getting picked up from a wave from the outside of the Abrolhos Islands all the way into the inside,” he said.

Once the paramedic’s work was done, VMR ferried the crew members to Rat Island and they were flown by plane back to Geraldton.

Mr Healy said his team needed a bigger boat to transport people to and from the Abrolhos Islands, especially when conditions didn’t suit. “It took us 21/2 hours to get across,” he said. “We had a couple of paramedics, five of the crew, and three marine rescue people on board — if it was any more we wouldn’t have been able to do it.

“We definitely couldn’t have taken them all back to Geraldton.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it was investigating the incident.

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