Jessie Walker and Max Ball are happy to be alive and back out fishing after being rescued when their boat sank just more than a week ago.
Jessie Walker and Max Ball are happy to be alive and back out fishing after being rescued when their boat sank just more than a week ago. Lee Constable

Survivors back at sea

AFTER spending 15 hours in the ocean desperately hoping to be rescued, you could be forgiven for thinking twice before going fishing again.

But not Grasstree Beach resident Jessie Walker, 17, who was back out with his brother-in-law Max Ball, 28, on Sunday.

The men, along with 39-year-old Jeno Green, were rescued about 1pm on June 11 after their boat sank about 40km east of Mackay.

They had only a single lifejacket and a fuel tank to keep them afloat.

One week on, Mr Walker said his memories of the ordeal were hazy but he was grateful to be alive.

The trio was en route to Prudhoe Is when the boat sank at 10pm on June 10.

"All I remember was we ran out of fuel and as we stopped a wave came over the back," Mr Walker said.

"There was a little hole at the back and the water just kept gushing in.

"The whole back of the boat went down and it just flipped over.

"We were hanging onto the boat for quite a while (before it sank)."

Mr Walker was told by Mr Ball that he started to become unconscious and delirious around mid-morning on Monday.

"Max said when we were on the fuel tank I said, 'there's a set of keys here somewhere, you can drive it and I'm going to sit at the back and have a smoke'," he said.

"Max and I (swam) together away from the fuel tank and left Jeno there.

"We were going to see if we could make it to the island at all. I just kept getting weaker and weaker so Max took me back to the fuel tank.

"(Max) kept me afloat; he looked after me the whole time.

"I remember waking up in hospital. I thought, 'I'm alive'.

"It was like what you see in the movies; really dazed and didn't know what was going on.

"I went out fishing yesterday (Sunday), it was just me and Max. We went and got some trout, back out to the same spot where we sank.

"We were debating whether to go out or not. We still wake up with bad dreams every now and then.

"I'm still a bit weak. When I got off the boat (on Sunday) I was a bit motion sick.

"But harden up and get over it."



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