Mackay Boat Missing- According to Senior Constable Howard, the EPIRB signal was activated 85 nautical miles away from the coast, which is a distance that could be traveled by boat in up to seven and a half hours. “That should give you some idea of how isolated the location is,” he explained to me. He stated that a rescue chopper observed a man clinging to the hull of an upside-down sailboat late last night.
“As they got closer, it appears that for some unknown reason the man has become detached from the vessel,” he said. “After that, they tried to reposition their aircraft, but they were unable to see him again.” It is believed that the rescue chopper was compelled to make a U-turn and return to land in order to refuel. According to Senior Constable Howard, “fortunately at 5.50am we received information that a male had been recovered from the water.”
According to him, an airplane flying over Grasstree Beach discovered a man who was 44 years old and was able to communicate with a maritime rescue vessel to extract the man. He stated that there were claims the man was in a severe condition and that a medical crew had been brought in prior to the man being eventually evacuated to Mackay Base Hospital. He added that the reports of the man’s condition were confirmed by him.
The second man, who was 43 years old, was located around 11:10 in the morning. He was hoisted out of the sea by CQ Rescue teams using a winch that was attached to a helicopter. The man told the rescue crew that there was a third man who was still missing. This man was the younger brother of the first man who survived. The man, who was 43 years old, was transported by helicopter to the Mackay Base Hospital.
Senior Constable Howard stated that the veracity of the information obtained from the 43-year-old male had been erratic, but he remained hopeful that additional details would emerge as the man healed. According to a spokeswoman for AMSA, a search and rescue operation to locate the missing brother, who is 41 years old, is currently underway.
They stated that a local fishing vessel, a pilot transfer helicopter stationed in Mackay, a Cairns-based Challenger, a Townsville-based Rescue Helicopter 521, a Mackay-based Rescue Helicopter RSCU412, and a Mackay-based Rescue Helicopter RSCU412 were all participating in the search.