rhondda-rescue-distressed-vesselA Sunshine Coast fisherman was winched aboard a rescue helicopter from the aft deck of a Coast Guard vessel after his boat was flipped by a whale. Coast Guard Mooloolaba QF6 rescued the 60-year-old Bribie Island man who had been trapped under his boat in an air pocket before diving down and swimming free.

He was clinging to his upturned boat 25 nautical miles off Mooloolaba at the Barwon Banks when a nearby fisherman came to help and they called the Coast Guard. When the Coast Guard crew arrived on-scene they took the fisherman on-board and began towing his upside-down boat.

With the man suffering chest pain, the rescue vessel's base was in contact with a doctor who advised cutting the tow and proceeding back to shore at speed. After the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter arrived and successfully winched the patient off Rhondda Rescue, the crew headed back out to sea to recover the upside-down vessel. Several attempts to again right the vessel failed, so they started what proved to be a time-consuming tow some 20 nm out at 2.5 knots.