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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happened at Port Kembla

What could have gone wrong on a Sunday morning fishing in a port? Well, Murphy's law can always be not far behind. This case, reported in the Illawarra Mercury, happened at Port Kembla at Australia's southeast coast, shows nothing is unexpected:
Two fishermen had a brush with death after their 4.5m boat was hit by a freak wave and capsized on to rocks off Port Kembla yesterday.

A 34-year-old man from Lake Heights and 44-year-old man from Koonawarra were anchored 400m off Hill 60 when they struck trouble just before 11am.

Illawarra ambulance district officer Terry Morrow said it appeared the boat had become stranded on the reef and the pair struggled for about 30 minutes to free themselves - all the while being pounded by rough 2m seas.

"They were hit by a freak wave and the water went into the boat and dragged the anchor and the boat on to rocks," he said.

"They couldn't get the motor started because of the water that had come over the bow."

At some point another wave capsized the vessel and they were thrown into the ocean.

Concealed by white wash and with the beach closed, their predicament went unnoticed until they were spotted by a lifesaver.

Being inside the Port at least implies rescuers are probably nearby, so the two were lucky:

The duo were rescued with the aid of police rescue officers and treated by ambulance personnel.

They were taken to Wollongong Hospital suffering exhaustion, sea water intake, cuts and abrasions.

Never taken anything for granted, even anchored fishing inside the port. I have some doubt whether or not the waves were really freaque ones. But the boat was really being capsized by it. That should be freaque enough!

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