Fishing boat in rescue drama off Portland coast

PORTLAND’S Coast Guard sprung into action yesterday afternoon, rescuing a fishing vessel that ran into trouble about 31 kilometres offshore.

A five-and-a-half metre recreational fishing vessel with six people on board activated an emergency safety beacon just after 3pm yesterday, about 17 nautical miles (31 kilometres) south-west of Cape Nelson.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) rescue co-ordination centre alerted the coast guard and sent a fixed wing aircraft and the HEMS 4 rescue helicopter to the scene.

Portland Coast Guard flotilla commander Michael Krause said the Kota Lukis cargo vessel was also diverted, but was stood down once the coast guard arrived.

He said the vessel reported it was taking on water.

“The HEMS 4 chopper lifted one passenger off the vessel before the coast guard boat arrived,” he said.

“The other passengers were transferred to the coast guard vessel.” He said the fishing boat was brought back to Portland under tow, arriving in port late last night.

Mr Krause said conditions were not very favourable early during the rescue.

“The swell was up between three and four metres early on,” he said. “Towards the end the wind had dropped and so did the swell to about two-and-a-half metres.”

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