7 August 2023

Distressed vessel with two teens on board rescued off Scarborough

| Katrina Condie
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Two men at harbour

Distressed vessel skipper Lloyd with Port Kembla 31 skipper Kevin McCulloch after returning safely to Bellambi Harbour. Photo: MRNSW.

Two children were safely returned to shore by Marine Rescue Port Kembla after the boat they were on began taking on water off the Illawarra Coast on Saturday morning, 5 August.

The two teenage boys were returning from fishing off Stanwell Park with two adults when the six-metre open runabout they were in began taking on a large amount of water about six nautical miles (11 km) off Scarborough.

The adult skipper of the distressed vessel called Marine Rescue NSW at about 8 am.

The skipper, who had logged on with Marine Rescue NSW at the beginning of the voyage, told the radio operator at Marine Rescue Port Kembla that they were unable to keep up with bailing water out of the vessel.

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Marine Rescue NSW Inspector Stuart Massey tasked a crew on board Port Kembla 31 to attend the at-risk vessel in case the situation deteriorated.

Port Kembla 31 reached the distressed vessel quickly and they relocated the two children to the rescue vessel while two adults remained on board the at-risk boat,” Inspector Massey said.

“Port Kembla 31 shadowed the distressed vessel back to the harbour in case the water ingress situation escalated.

“The children were safely taken on board PK 31 and reunited with the adults from the distressed vessel at Bellambi Harbour.

“We advise boaters to contact Marine Rescue NSW immediately via VHF channel 16 or mobile phone if their vessel starts taking on water.”

People on boat

One of the rescued children on board the Marine Rescue vessel. Photo: MRNSW.

Inspector Massey said the skipper did everything correctly but explained that things could happen unexpectedly in the offshore environment.

“This morning’s incident off the Illawarra coast had a great outcome but situations like these can turn quickly into life-threatening emergencies,” he said.

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The skipper of the distressed vessel, Lloyd, said he was happy to be back on land.

“All safe and secured by Marine Rescue Port Kembla. They all got us back on land, so a big thumbs up to you guys,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer-based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.

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