BIG RESCUE: Crews set out to save stranded fishermen
TWO men who were stranded at sea have been rescued off the coast of Gladstone by the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter.
Tasked by the Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA) about 3am this morning, the chopper's crew were able to rescue the two fishermen who were stuck on a life raft, within an hour after receiving the call.
"The fishermen had flares and a beacon, which enabled us to fly straight to them, using a signal homer in the aircraft and night vision equipment," RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Aircrew Officer Chris Jowsey said.
Flying in a circular pattern, the LifeFlight pilot was able to hold position of the life raft, allowing crews from Volunteer Marine Rescue to travel to the scene safely and collect the men.
During the rescue, the LifeFlight crew lowered a radio device down to the raft from the helicopter, creating a communication channel between rescuers and the men, as their mobile phones were not working.
The incident occurred when their fishing boat sank, leaving both men about 20 nautical miles offshore.
Rescuers said both males appeared to be in good spirits and had not sustained any injuries.
In addition to LifeFlight, there were other search and rescue aircrafts also on scene.