Esperance Marine Rescue safety reminder following rescue

Photo- Sam Gibbs.
Photo- Sam Gibbs.

The Esperance Volunteer Marine Rescue have reminded boat users to be as vigilant as possible, following a rescue on Friday, October 5.

Two marine rescue vessels along with a Southern Ports pilot vessel responded about 3:15pm after flares were sighted at West Beach, Blue Haven and Fourth Beach.

Volunteer Chris Buckley said the vessel was quickly located although visibility was inconsistent due to a thunderstorm.

The rescue craft were within a nautical mile of the vessel when a smoke flare was sighted by the Southern Port’s vessel. 

A lone fisher with a flat battery and phone was towed back, with the rescue operation finishing around 5:30pm.

Mr Buckley said although an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was required for boats more than two nautical miles offshore, the marine rescue promoted the use of a GPS enabled EPIRB for any craft outside the breakwater.

“In Esperance, we travel a lot further in vessels and we’ve go islands,” he said.

“The lad was very fortunate that he put his flares up and people were watching because flares are not always spotted.

“We are recommending you take a GPS which will give the position between 300 and 400 metres as opposed to one that just sends out a signal that can be down to five nautical miles.”

Mr Buckley said people were sometimes reluctant to let off their flare because they were worried they could be charged.

“But if it’s not malicious, there’s no way in the world they get charged,” he said. 

To contact the Esperance Voluntary Marine Rescue Service call 0419 869 655.