Five rescued after boat breaks down off East Arnhem coast
FIVE stranded fishermen attempted to construct a makeshift sail to get home after their boat broke down in Blue Mud Bay over the weekend.
Police said the party - which included three men and two youths - departed to hunt turtle at Woodah Island on Sunday morning but the group did not return as expected.
A Yirralka Ranger drove to the party's departure point to scan the coastline and raised the alarm on Monday morning.
Police from Gapuwiyak started a marine search and located the party camped on Woodah Island after the boat had broken down the day before.
The group had run out of freshwater and had constructed a makeshift sail with the plan to attempt to reach the mainland when police arrived.
Police towed the party back to the mainland where the community met them with food and water.
Senior Sergeant Michael Milde said the boat's skipper was cautioned about having the right safety equipment.
"While we appreciate the innovative efforts of the party to create makeshift sail to get home, it can't do the job of an emergency beacon," he said.
"It is very important that all boaters ensure they have the correct safety gear, especially going into the wet season when conditions can change suddenly."
Originally published as Five rescued after boat breaks down off East Arnhem coast