Port Lincoln: Three fishermen were killed in a “freak” accident after a huge wave hit their boat

Port Lincoln: Three fishermen were killed in a “freak” accident after a huge wave hit their boat

By Jacob Shtemann for the Australian Associated Press

07:19 26 March 2024, updated 07:36 26 March 2024

Three people died and two were taken to hospital after their fishing boat capsized off the coast of South Australia.

Emergency crews began a frantic water and air search Monday evening after the boat and its five occupants did not return to Port Lincoln.

A police rescue helicopter located the capsized boat near Spilsby Island in the Spencer Gulf about 2 a.m. on Tuesday, and pulled two members of the group — a 44-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy — to safety from the reef.

Calm seas raised hopes that the other three boat passengers were alive, but their hopes were dashed after rescuers recovered two bodies later in the morning.

The fifth and final crew member was found dead shortly after 2 p.m.

The rescued couple were taken to Port Lincoln Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Three fishermen died while two others were found unharmed after a huge wave hit their boat on Monday night (pictured, Sea Rescue)
The fifth and final hunter was found dead around 2pm on Tuesday

Superintendent Paul Barr told reporters on Tuesday that they had been treated for cases of hypothermia as a result of exposure to the cold.

“The same boat has been located and is on its way back to Port Lincoln,” Supt Bahar said.

“She will be discharged later today and will undergo further forensic examination and any examination the coroner may request.”

The hunting party included family members and close friends, and were all adults except for the rescued teenager.

Police were alerted after the five-person crew did not return to shore on Monday, resulting in their capsized boat (pictured) being found near Spilsby Island, off the coast of Port Lincoln.

The two rescued fishermen told police that a wave swamped their boat around 4pm on Monday, capsizing the boat and throwing everyone on board into the water.

A massive rescue operation was launched after family members of the crew informed police that they had not returned just after 8.30pm on Monday evening.

In addition to the police helicopter, police water operations, local marine rescue vessels, a Challenger jet and the P&O Pacific Explorer cruise ship participated in the search.

Police will now prepare reports for the coroner.

Read more: Nurse drowns after falling into a crevice on a popular beach

    (tags for translation)port 

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