Dramatic rescue footage emerges as the search for missing boatie continues after his brother and another man were found clinging to a blue sky when their boat capsized
- Search for missing man off Mackay coast continues
- His brother and another man were rescued on Friday
- Two men tied themselves to a blue esky to keep their heads above water
Gripping footage has captured the moment two men were rescued in waters off central Queensland after spending the night tied to a blue Esky after their boat capsized.
Emergency services continue their desperate search for a third man who is still missing, with police saying they have serious concerns for his well-being.
The three men — two brothers and another man — were aboard a ship when an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was activated about 85 nautical miles northeast of Mackay Harbor at about 8:10 p.m. Thursday.
One of the men is rescued from the waters off Queensland after spending the previous night at sea. Image: Supplied / RACQ CQ Rescue
Emergency services – including police, Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Response Center and a rescue helicopter – combed Creal Reef in the Coral Sea in response.
On Friday morning, one of the men was found clinging to the boat.
“Unfortunately, due to severe fuel and operational constraints, the helicopter was unable to lift the man,” said a spokeswoman for RACQ CQ Rescue.
The 44-year-old Grasstree resident was picked up by VMR around 7 a.m. and transported to Mackay Base Hospital in serious condition.
Two men are rescued from the waters off Queensland. Image: Supplied / RACQ CQ Rescue
A second Bray Park man, 43, was found naked near the reef by the rescue helicopter just after 11am.
“He suffered from exposure, dehydration and hypothermia after being in the water at about 8:30 p.m. last night,” the spokeswoman said.
“He was in an altered state of consciousness and suffered severe lacerations to his body from the reef.”
The man was taken to the same hospital for treatment.
But a 41-year-old Grasstree Beach man has not yet been located – police are “seriously concerned” for his well-being.
RACQ CQ said the second Bray Park man told rescuers a wave hit their 7m Goodwin Longboard around 8:30pm the night of the incident.
“All three had clung to the hull of the boat after it sank until the two brothers tied themselves to a blue Esky to help it float,” a spokeswoman said. Image: Supplied / RACQ CQ Rescue
“All three had clung to the hull of the boat after it sank until the two brothers tied themselves to a blue Esky to help it float,” the spokeswoman said.
“They somehow got separated (from the third man) during the night.”
Senior Constable Syrrell Howard of the Mackay Whitsunday Water Police said the trio left Mackay Harbor earlier this week to go fishing.
“We were initially hampered by low light and also by the fact that the area was so remote,” he said.
Boaties and other recreational water users are requested to report sightings immediately to the police.