Dramatic vision of father-son yacht rescue

A father and his 11-year-old son have been rescued from their stricken yacht by water police after colliding with submerged rocks near Western Australia’s Rottnest Island.

The pair sent out a distress call shortly after 8:30pm on Thursday and were instructed to activate their on-board EPIRB, which notified the national Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

With the boat taking on water through its shattered hull, the father told authorities over the radio they were being “crushed by broken furniture”.

Police responded, “Don’t abandon ship at the moment, we are coming to your location and we will assist you off the vessel.”

At around 9:15pm, two water police vessels arrived at Transit Rocks where the boat was lodged, but were unable to approach due to the hazardous conditions.

Fortunately for the pair, the wind soon changed direction and police were able to approach and take them on board.

Both the man and his son had sustained minor injuries and were met by ambulance officers when they reached shore and taken to hospital.

Inspector Steve Scott from the WA Police Emergency Management and Specialist Support Division said the rough conditions wouldn’t have been pleasant for anyone involved.

“It was quite challenging out there. Luckily our newly acquired jet boat allowed us to get much closer to the vessel and the reef, and ultimately affect that rescue,” he told 6PR.

Initial reports suggest the yacht suffered a mechanical issue which left it stuck in gear.

“We always say it’s a very different set of circumstances when you have a mechanical issue when you’re on the side of the road, as opposed to being out on the water,” Inspector Scott said.

“Once he hit the reef, he had all the appropriate safety equipment, acted very calmly, activated his EPIRB, called out to water police co-ordination centre via the radio and that allowed us to know his location and successfully rescue them.”

Local authorities will liaise with the skipper to retrieve the yacht.

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