A sailboard rider who got into trouble in the water off Port Fairy sparking calls for emergency help on Thursday has prompted a safety warning from the marine rescue service.
Two people got into trouble off the coast about 10am, president of the Port Fairy Marine Rescue Russell Lemke said, but one was able to make it to shore safely.
The other was swept by wind and surf from Pea Soup towards the south west passage, Mr Lemke said.
"I had a lady call me on the duty phone to say she was observing it from the South Beach estate and was watching it unfold. She had rung 000 who had in turn alerted the Water Police," he said.
"They were not in good shape as such. The person was battling and trying to paddle it back in. Every time they tried to stand up on the sailboard he fell over and went toe up.
"I have no idea of the person's capability or experience, but obviously it wasn't efficient for the conditions.
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"Then we got reports that it was actually too dangerous for us to actually go in to where they were because they were too close to the rocks, and putting a 12 tonne boat in there just wouldn't have worked."
He said they were in the process of coordinating a rescue with Life Saving Victoria to take out the inflatable rescue boat when they got word that the person had managed to get themselves to shore about 15 minutes later, probably with the help of a surfer.
"Everything was in process to do a rescue but they luckily got themselves to the shore," Mr Lemke said.
"In that respect, very lucky because once you go past Griffiths Island that's it, next stop is King Island.
"You don't have to be in the water long and in that panic for things to go pear-shaped fairly fast.
"We have to get there fairly rapidly to try get a person with hypothermia and panic would be starting to set in."
Mr Lemke said it was a timely for a warning to all boat operators and anyone going near the water.
"Safety, safety, safety. You've got to think twice about what you're doing and make sure you've told someone about what you are doing - all the things people should do but rarely do," he said.
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