NEWS - Solo boating tragedy averted off Botany Bay, Sydney
Skipper follows safety guidelines to the letter
Thursday, Mar 10: NSW Maritime has issued a reminder to all boat owners to have their boat regularly inspected after a solo fisherman survived his vessel sinking 2½nm off Botany Bay this morning.
NSW Maritime chief executive, Steve Dunn said the quick actions of the skipper followed boating safety guidelines to the letter.
"He put out a mayday call, grabbed an EPIRB radio beacon and put on a lifejacket — saving his own life," said Dunn.
"What could easily have been a tragic incident was averted because of the safe and sensible actions of the skipper.
"Boating Safety Officers were already on their way to assist when the boat sank, but the skipper was rescued unharmed from the water by a passing recreational vessel. Unfortunately the boat sank in deep water and is very unlikely to be found," he said.
There were no pollutants onboard, and no sightings of pollution as a result of the sinking.
The solo fisherman was offshore, between Botany Bay and Port Hacking just after 9am when his vessel began to sink. He put out a mayday call on his marine radio and went into the water wearing his lifejacket and holding a grab bag, which included an EPIRB radio beacon.
It is believed it was the first time the vessel had been used in 12 months. NSW Maritime strongly recommends skippers get their vessel regularly serviced, and especially after a long layover period.
Boat Owners Association (BOA) Michael Chapman said the lucky escape highlights the need to check to make sure your vessel’s seaworthiness before setting out.
"Skippers should think about using the BIA’s 50-point safety check to ensure their vessel is in good working order," said Chapman.
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