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Old 08-09-2015, 02:28 AM   #1
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EPIRB saves 2 fisherman but older man dies

Not a lot of detail about this tragedy, but it is clear that an EPIRB (I assume with GPS) saved the younger two fishermen. For their maiden voyage in a new to them boat, going out wide in a 5.6m boat at night, even with a forecast of light winds, is a risky plan. Sad that the young guy could not save his father.
Moreton Bay boat accident survivor clung to father's dead body: Rescuer

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Old 08-09-2015, 04:42 AM   #2
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I agree, Brian. These sorts of tragedies always make me sad and mad. It was just so preventable.

Here are three guys, going out in a 5 metre runabout, which they only bought yesterday, so had no previous experience with the vessel, had done no shakedown trips to see if, let alone how, everything worked, and went out over 3 miles from shore or more, overnight, and with only an EPIRB, (thank goodness), but apparently no working radio.

They got the motor swamped and rendered inoperable, were not able to raise any help via radio, yet still failed to put on lifejackets, and were only wearing board shorts when rescued - no warm clothing, yet this is our Winter, and when they were flipped they were caught so unawares they could not don their lifejackets, which they should have had on. One even had to dive back under the sinking boat to get the EPIRB, which did, in the end, allow for the two younger chaps to be saved by rescue chopper, but the 57yr old father of one of them perished. There were several commercial fishing boats quite near, but not near enough to draw their attention by visual signals, but could have been via VHF. Such sadly unnecessary loss of life.

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Old 08-09-2015, 07:00 AM   #3
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So sad to hear about the loss of life

When I hear about these things I always hope for a good side to this and that many boaters can learn some lessons and unknown many can be safer because of it you sharing this link is a step in doing that
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:32 AM   #4
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Very sad, what is surprising, to me, is that they did have an EPRIB, are they required down there?
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Very sad, what is surprising, to me, is that they did have an EPRIB, are they required down there?
Amazing, if as reported, that they had EPIRB and no VHF and didn't put their life jackets on. Still great that it saved two lives, although the memories the son will have are likely to haunt him the rest of his life.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:39 PM   #6
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Yes, where they were an EPIRB is mandatory safety equipment. I am a bit surprised it wasn't registered as you can do that online and its free, and registration is a requirement not an option. But they did only own that boat for one day so perhaps registering the EPIRB was to be done on day two or three.

On looking at the safety requirements, a VHF radio (or any radio) is not required. For VHF, you need an operator's licence. The exam is not difficult but having to go through the process deters many from getting VHF. Instead a lot of folks use 27MHz or CB radios, and the volunteer rescue folks normally monitor those and log people's trips if they wish.

One of the rescue crew was quoted as saying "Wind was picking up and the sea was moderately rough when the men were rescued in the popular boating area about 20 nautical miles northeast of Cape Moreton." “It’s a fair way out for a boat that size,”he said. Indeed.

They had left the previous afternoon and been fishing all night, and were drift fishing just prior to the 'freak wave' that swamped them just after they had restarted the engine to reposition the boat for another drift run. Winds were forecast as below 10 kn, but with some short periods up to 15 kn.
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:34 PM   #7
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As they only bought the boat the day before, I `d cut them some slack on registering the Epirb with AMSA. You do it online, the process is clunky, takes a few days to get the registration stickers for the Epirb, but it certainly should be registered.
The death is a good reminder of our local Maritime motto "no one ever had their day ruined by wearing a life jacket". They are so much more "wearable" now.
I doubt many get a VHF license, but many use them. Marine Rescue now has a mobile phone app, they seem to accept phone log ons and notifications, and always get my number when I log on by VHF. In fact they keep boat info on file, simplifying the log on process when going offshore.
A VHF is required in my state, NSW, when going offshore. You can buy a good handheld 5watt unit for $150, I have one as back up, and boat to dinghy communication. A decent fixed VHF with DSC is around $300. Don`t leave harbour without one.
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:48 AM   #8
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Happens all over. A few weeks ago a young girl and her dad were lost.
Girl 6 yrs , sans life jacket, was found, Dad still not found to my knowledge.

A concerned person saw the boat drifting with no one in it and called it in.

Happened in Howe Sound. We saw the planes, helicopters and search boats but didn't know untill later what it was all about.

Howe Sound can be rough but so often large areas can be calm and pretty. People think no problem but they are wrong. Even in summer the water can be relatively cold especially if an unexected dunking occurs.

Unfortunately, this time a high price was paid.

Darn shame.

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