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Two Fishermen Survive 34 Hours At Sea


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Two fishermen survive 34 hours at sea

Police say they've found two men .. clinging to their overturned

catamaran .. after 34 hours lost at sea off the New South Wales

south coast.

They'd left Kiama about four o'clock (AEDT) yesterday morning to

go fishing .. and worried relatives alerted police when they hadn't

returned by eight this morning.

After a full-scale search was launched .. the men were found by

a trawler at about 2.15 pm .. clinging to their overturned craft

approximately five nautical miles east of Burrill Lake.

It's rescued the pair and is towing the stricken vessel to


The men are expected to be taken to hospital on arrival.

More Info:

Prayers answered as men survive 34 hours at sea

wo fishermen have survived 34 hours at sea after a freak wave capsized their boat off the South Coast.

Relatives raised the alarm yesterday morning after the men failed to return home.

Helicopters searched an 1430 square mile area from Kiama south to Bawley Point.

The men, aged 40 and 45, were found in the early afternoon clinging to their overturned boat off Burrill Lake. A trawler rescued the men and towed the boat to Ulladulla.

Rescuer Rocky Pirello said the men were in shock when they were found, approximately five nautical miles east of Burrill Lake.

The trawler picked them up and towed the 4.5m catamaran to Ulladulla.

"They were in shock praying to God, waving their hands in the air," he told the Seven Network.

"But they weren't too bad."

He told the Nine Network the men were very tired and emotional.

"They were very emotional, they were sunburnt, they were just real tired."

Terry Campion, of the Royal Volunteer Coast Patrol, said the men appeared to be okay after their ordeal.

"By all reports they are lucid, able to hold a ... conversation," he told the Seven Network last night.

"They said that they were hit by a freak wave, but in the end they were totally capsized in the ocean."

The pair were flown to Wollongong Hospital for medical treatment.

Last month, two crewmen from a Yamba prawn trawler that capsized off the NSW North Coast survived because one of the men swam 12 kilometres to shore.

The second man was rescued after waiting in the water for 30 hours. However, the skipper of the vessel died.

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Rescued fishermen released from hospital

Two NSW south coast men found clinging to their overturned catamaran after a 34-hour ordeal at sea have been discharged from hospital.

A fishing trawler found the missing men about 2.15pm (AEDT) Sunday, clinging to their overturned craft approximately five nautical miles east of Burrill Lake, near Ulladulla.

The men, aged 45 and 40, had set off on a fishing trip from Kiama about 4am on Saturday.

They were Josif Necovski, from Barrack Heights, and Troy Veljanovski, of Warilla, News Limited reported.

A spokeswoman for Wollongong Hospital, where the men were airlifted on Monday, said they had been discharged just before midday.

However, she could not disclose any more information about them.

"As of last night and this morning they were not keen to talk to any media nor for anything to be released other than they are in a stable condition," she said.

"The fact that they've been discharged, that's a good thing."

Earlier, a man who helped rescue the two fishermen said they would not have survived another day in open seas.

Rocky Pirello, captain of the trawler that picked up the men, said it was unlikely they could have survived much longer.

"I don't think they would have lasted the next night, I don't think they would have lasted another 24 hours," Mr Pirello told the Nine Network.

He said the boat had been capsized by a freak wave and had been drifting all night.

"They (the fishermen) told me that they just got a freak wave about 11 o'clock and that was it and then they were drifting all night."

He said the men were very tired and emotional.

"They were very emotional, they were sunburnt, they were just real tired."

In a similar incident last month the skipper of a prawn trawler died after his vessel sank off the NSW north coast.

Two deckhands on board the vessel survived, one after spending 30 hours in open ocean, and another after swimming 12 hours to a beach near Byron Bay.

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After seeing several of these accidents and not likeingt the thought of 30swim and 100km drift we are being a lot more careful on our boat about where we place safety equipment. We like a lot used to have it stored out of site to stop it getting stolen. when on board we now put it out.

We now have 2 seperate lots that we place one in the cabin and one out near the deck on every trip both in proper safety drums both with light bungy cord lanyards. Have included some swimming goggles, some rope, more sunscreen , fresh water and the older epirb. We have put the mount for the epirb in a much easier position to access in case we are upside down (actually attached the lanyard as well) and also put a bungy cord through a couple of life jackets in a side pocket so if the rest get washed away we still have 2.

We used to get a lot of security out of having floatation and 10 compartments but if it goes over I didn't really think much about accessing the safety gear and if it would still be there and what a mess it would be.

Has anyone else done the same or got other ideas after seeing the incidents this summer of blokes drifting for hours.


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We have put the mount for the epirb in a much easier position to access in case we are upside down (actually attached the lanyard as well)


Pel Top marks for your forthought in this area. I , perhaps like many others have all the correct gear but in the wrong places , so to speak & your post has got me thinking to relook at my situation.

You mention the epirb is in a much easier position . Could you expand on this.

The idea of a lanyard is very practical there by keeping it attached to the boat. My concern is , if the boat is about to sink then so to dose the epirb.

Was this taken into account when repositioning , if so it could be detached easily & hooked up to a person


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With watertight compartments and floatation foam as well I hope I've still got something to hang on to.

Have put the epirb bracket on the back deck against the cabin and just put the epirb in it when on the boat and attach the lanyard that comes with it. Was besides the helm in the cabin at head height but honestly if boat was rolled belly up I don't think I would want the job of trying to recover it 7 foot underwater in a swell...hmmmm.


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Geoff and Pelican

This has also made me think about what I carry and where I put things and I wonder if we should have a space in say the boating area, saying whats a good idea and whats not a good idea.

Being optimists we always think that the boat will stay upright, pumps work etc but really what other things can we do to protect oursleves. For example lashing extra life jackets togther to hold us up, techniques to reduce hypertermia, making up safety bags and attaching them to each life jacket. etc.


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  • 3 weeks later...

There are personal EPIRBS available and the ICOM VHF hand held I use is waterproof to 1 metre. I also have a 8 man RFD Liferaft on my boat. This is the type in the vinyl enclosure and is not too heavy for the front of the boat. Put your mobile phone in a waterproof sealable plastic bag and keep that in your pocket also. Lifejackets are quite bulky to wear all the time however I have the less bulky PFD (Personal Floatation Devices) and when the sea is a little shakey, we wear them continuously. The current here in the Solomons can run at up to 5 knots and even a good swimmer would have difficulties without floatation of some sorts. I used to fish with a fellow who always wore wet suit pants - the kind that water skiers use, with floatation on the rump area.

A few ideas for consideration.

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