What started as a boating trip to pull craypots for three Mandurah men ended up in a sea rescue operation involving two helicopters and four boats in appalling weather conditions.
The men, a 78-year-old, a 79-year-old and a 56-year-old, were sailing on a six-metre-boat around James Service reef when it overturned and they fell into the water.
They managed to cling onto the bottom of the boat while one of them called 000 on his mobile phone.
“About 8 o’clock this morning we got a call for a boat which had capsized about five miles off Mandurah so we’ve gone out and we’ve found three people clinging to the bottom of the boat,” Mandurah water police acting senior sergeant Troy Pillage said.
“The Westpac rescue helicopter was out there, they put a swimmer in the water and we’ve brought three people back who’ve now been taken to Peel Health Campus.”
Mr Pillage said the men had been in the water for 45 minutes before being rescued, two of them in relatively good condition and one of them struggling to stay afloat.
None of the men were wearing lifejackets.
“They are very lucky to be alive,” Mr Pillage said. “The conditions at the moment are almost at the point of being where we would say the rescue boat is not going to go out that far.”
The three men, who are believed to be experienced sailors, were taken to Peel Health Campus.
Mr Pillage reminded people to check the weather conditions.
“Before you go out boating you need to check the conditions, check the weather and make sure the conditions are appropriate for the boat that you are going out in,” he said.
“You need to carry all your safety gear and have it accessible.
“If you are going out for some reason on a day like today you should be wearing lifejackets.”
- This article first appeared on the Mandurah Mail