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Two young men rescued after boat overturns off Moon Island on Hunter Coast

Two fishermen aged in their 20s have been taken to hospital after being plucked from the water off Moon Island by volunteers from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie.

Their vessel experienced engine trouble just before 9am this morning and as they were trying to get it started were hit by waves which capsized the boat leaving both men in the water.

Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie Unit Commander Jim Wright said the fisherman “luckily” made a call to triple zero before the boat overturned.

Marine Area Command tasked Marine Rescue NSW to assist the fisherman.

“Lake Macquarie 30 was activated with Skipper Warren Collins, Ian Guy, Rob Mackenzie and Ian Paver on board,” the Unit Commander said.

“Thankfully one of our members, Matt Dorhauer who is a rated RWC (rescue water craft) operator had come in to assist with a member assessment this morning.

“When the call went out he had all his RWC gear in his car so we were able to active our RWC, LM 13,” Mr Wright said.

The Lake Macquarie Unit Commander was in the radio room alongside operators Richard Jennings, Gary Archer and Trevor Swann at the time of the call for assistance and was proud of the way the unit responded.

“We didn’t know the exact location of the distressed vessel.

“Matt checked out Coon Island on LM 13 and then proceeded to follow LM 30 to Moon Island.

“LM 30 went out around Moon Island but didn’t see any people in the water or a boat.

“LM 30 was preparing to begin a search pattern when Matt saw two people in the water,” Mr Wright said.

Both fishermen were wearing life jackets.

“One of them ended up being smashed on the rocks, he had trouble inflating his life jacket but eventually got away from the rocks and into deeper water,” Mr Wright said.

RWC operator Matt Dorhauer put the injured man on the sled and transferred him to LM 30 were the crew immediately began first aid.

The man was suffering from and abdominal injury and hyperthermia and had lacerations to his arms and legs.

Mr Dorhauer then retrieved the other man on LM 13 before taking him safely to LM 30.

“He had swallowed a bit of water,” Mr Wright said.

The crew on board LM 30 continued to administer first aid and transported both men to the Swansea RSL wharf where they were met by NSW Ambulance Paramedics and taken to hospital.

Mr Wright said the rescue was well executed.

“I’m very proud of our members, everything came together well, there were no hiccups, it was great team work by the radio room, crew and RWC.

“The outcome was an awesome result,” he said.

Mr Wright said conditions this morning weren’t horrendous.

“There was a bit of swell up, a metre and a half, there was a bit of wind but it was choppy,” he said.

Volunteers from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie will attempt to locate the stricken vessel this afternoon and retrieve it if possible.

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