Boating tragedies - One drowned, three missing in weekend capsizes

Rescue vessels from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie
A search is continuing in St George’s Basin for three men missing after their small tinny capsized soon after midnight on Sunday. A fourth man from the boat reached safety and raised the alarm at around 1am.

The mishap occurred at Erowal Bay and rescue vessels from Marine Rescue Shoalhaven and Sussex Inlet are assisting NSW Police in the search. Westpac Rescue Helicopter is also searching and police divers have been called in.

The St George’s Basin emergency follows another capsize at around 2am on Sunday morning in Lake Macquarie when a dinghy carrying a man and his wife tipped over as they attempted to board their moored boat.

The woman clung to the dingy until morning when she made her way to shore suffering from hypothermia.

A search for the man was organized immediately and three vessels from Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie assisted Water Police in the search. The man’s body was recovered at around 12.30 in the afternoon.

Marine Rescue NSW urges everyone who goes boating to wear a lifejacket. Statistics from NSW Roads and Maritime Services show that between mid 1999 and December 2011, 206 out of 221 people killed in boating accidents in NSW were not wearing lifejackets. Many of these people could have survived if they had been wearing one.

Marine Rescue NSW website