A 24-year-old Coolum man (in black) takes stock of his boat after the Coastguard towed it back to Mooloolaba. He had fallen from the boat and was rescued earlier in the morning.
A 24-year-old Coolum man (in black) takes stock of his boat after the Coastguard towed it back to Mooloolaba. He had fallen from the boat and was rescued earlier in the morning. Stuart Cumming

Boatie's nightmare at sea after freak accident

COLD, wet and extremely lucky was the best assessment of a young boatie who was rescued after falling overboard while boating alone off Point Cartwright this morning.

The 24-year-old Coolum man's misadventure was discovered by a fisherman who raised the alarm about 7.30am after seeing an unmanned, 4.5m boat running around in circles while doing about 18 knots at Murphy's Reef.

Luckily, it wasn't long before he realised another recreational fisher had plucked the man from the water about five nautical miles offshore.

Australian Volunteer Coastguard Mooloolaba duty radio operator Lee Campbell said the man wasn't wearing a life jacket when he was knocked overboard by a wave.

 

A 24-year-old Coolum man (in black) takes stock of his boat after the Coastguard towed it back to Mooloolaba. He had fallen from the boat and was rescued earlier in the morning.
A 24-year-old Coolum man (in black) takes stock of his boat after the Coastguard towed it back to Mooloolaba. He had fallen from the boat and was rescued earlier in the morning. Stuart Cumming

He said the boat's throttle remained open.

"The boat went in one direction and he went in the other," Mr Campbell said.

"The boat continued on and he remained in the water."

Sunshine Coast Water Police officer Senior Constable Murray Lyons said a rescue helicopter was tasked when reports of the unmanned boat reached police.

However, he said that was called off about 15 minutes later when he got news the man had been found.

The man was taken back to the harbour by the recreational fisher while the Coastguard retrieved his boat.

Snr Const Lyons said the man had spent about half an hour in the water trying to keep himself afloat.

"He was a bit cold and had taken in a little bit of water but didn't require any advanced medical care," Snr Const Lyons said.

"I think he will be wearing a life jacket from now on when he is out by himself."

 

A 24-year-old Coolum man (in black) takes stock of his boat after the Coastguard towed it back to Mooloolaba. He had fallen from the boat and was rescued earlier in the morning.
A 24-year-old Coolum man (in black) takes stock of his boat after the Coastguard towed it back to Mooloolaba. He had fallen from the boat and was rescued earlier in the morning. Stuart Cumming

He said the man was very, very lucky and noted boat motors had kill switches with lanyards to help stop that kind of emergency occurring.

"I think he learned a lot about boating today."

The rescued man declined to be interviewed.


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