Rex Kirk bringing a patient to the Coast Guard boat in tender as skipper Rob Wills prepared to held them on board.
Rex Kirk bringing a patient to the Coast Guard boat in tender as skipper Rob Wills prepared to held them on board.

Perfect conditions make for busy week on the water

EXCELLENT weather last week made for perfect boating conditions, with Coast Guard attending a number of jobs.

Yeppoon Coast Guard responded to five jobs by Thursday evening — one of those was a medical evacuation.

On Monday, the Coast Guard received a call from the skipper of a 5.5 metre aluminium boat which has broken down on the east side of Middle Island with five people on board.

At 10.30am, skipper Phil Schefe and his crew, Alastair Sleeman, Leonie Newton, and Marj Roth, left Rosslyn Bay on Yeppoon Rescue One to assist.

Within 45 minutes the boat was under tow and was back in the harbour at 12.10pm.

In the afternoon the Coast Guard was alerted to a jetskier having engine trouble at Fisherman’s beach on Great Keppel Island.

Skipper Rex Kirk and Phil Schefe departed the marina at 6pm in Marine Assist Rescue and had the jet ski in town just after 7pm.

Tuesday saw more engine troubles, with the Coast Guard responding to a call from the skipper of a 6.5 metre aluminium fisin boar with a 225hp outboard that could not be started.

Skipper Al Barsby and his crew, Phil Schefe, Rob Wills, a nd Leonie Newton, the Yeppoon Rescue One left Rosslyn Bay at 12.40pm and travelled 66 kilometres to the North East.

When the crew arrived they saw that two dolphins had been keeping the stranded boaties company, swimming and playing around the boat.

One of the dolphin's spotted near a broken-down boat.
One of the dolphin's spotted near a broken-down boat.

By 2.55pm, they had the boat under tow, with their new dolphin friends surfing the bow wave as they went.

Averaging 18 knots (33km/h), they were able to have the boat back in two hours.

A yacht had to be moved to the red arm in the harbour after an unfortunate fuel mistake, which saw petrol being taken on the diesel boat on Wednesday morning.

On Thursday night, Coast Guard received a call from Queensland Ambulance, requesting their assistance for a potential medical emergency on Pumpkin Island.

An ambulance officer, along with skipper Rob Wills and crew members Rex Kirk and Leonie Newton proceeded to the island just after midnight.

Due to the low tide, the Coast Guard tender has to be used to get to the beach on the island and to take the patient back to the boat.

They arrived back at Rosslyn Bay just after 3am and the patient was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Christine and Barry Lewis taking part in coastal navigation training on Yeppoon Rescue One.
Christine and Barry Lewis taking part in coastal navigation training on Yeppoon Rescue One.

Moving into the weekend, the perfect weather conditions saw the two main car parks at the marina filled with boaties on Saturday and Sunday.

As many as 27 boats were queued at the boat ramp at one time, according to the Coast Guard.

On Saturday, three jobs were called in.

The first was a radio call from the skipper of a 6.6 metre fibreglass half cabin that required assistance after he couldn’t start the boat.

Skipper Dave Smith, along with Phil Schefe, Elizabeth Goodsell, and Marj Roth left the harbour at 9.30am and arrived at the vessel, which was 40 nautical miles north east of the harbour at 11.05am.

They took the boat under tow and arrived back at the marina at 1.50pm.

The skipper of a five metre aluminium boat with three people on board called for assistance after the engine of his boat failed to start at Pleasant Island and the boat was aground.

Rob Wills left the harbour at 8am with Merv Studt, Charles Rogers and Lunne Croft as crew in Yeppoon Rescue One.

The boat was taken intow and returned to the harbour at 9.40am.

Around an hour later Rob Wills was skipper again, with Charles Rogers and Lynne Croft as crew, when the skipper of a seven metre catamaran with seven people on board broke down.

The boat was being towed towards Rosslyn Bay and the Coast Guard took the vessel under town and had it back at the harbour at 12.50pm.

Just before 11am, the skipper of a 7.5 metre centre console boat with eight people on board requested a tow back to the harbour.

His boat had broken down just under a mile from the harbour entrance.

Skipper Phil Schefe and crew of Leonie Newton and Mark Roth assisted the boat and had it back at the harbour in 30 minutes.

On Sunday night, the crew received a call from a skipper who was having anchor winch problems on Leak’s Beach on Great Keppel.

The Coast Guard left the marina around 8pm to assist the vessel into water at the high tide.

After the busy weekend, Acting QF 11 Flotilla Commander Rex Kirk said that less than 20 per cent of boats in the area are logging on with the Coast Guard before departing.

Mr Kirk emphasised that if people log on and give their trip details, boat description and proposed times of the trip the Coast Guard has a better idea of where they need to start looking if any issues should arise.