Oz Day family rescue in 'very rough conditions'
8.35am: THE Yeppoon Coastguard has shed light on the rough conditions encountered rescuing a family of five yesterday.
The family clung to the hull of their dinghy for more than two and a half hours yesterday after the boat overturned in wild waters off the Capricorn Coast.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC Australia) coordinated the search and rescue after those on board activated a distress beacon about 12.30pm.
The JRCC tasked the RACQ Capricorn rescue helicopter from Rockhampton, which located the group, winching them to safety about 3pm (AEDT).
Yeppoon Water Police and the Yeppoon coastguard were also tasked to assist in the search and rescue operation.
The coastguard reported the EPIRB was registered to a 6m Quintrex boat that had left Great Keppel Island at 9.44am with a family of five on board but had not reported arriving at Rosslyn Bay Harbour.
At 12.30pm Skipper Allan Barsby and crew were asked to head along the expected track to Great Keppel Island to search for the boat while waiting for a more precise fix on the EPIRB and the arrival of the Rescue helicopter.
Mick O'Connor and Heather Bellett took the EPIRB Direction Finder to the harbour wall to try to obtain a direction.
They received a faint signal to the north and then drove to Wreck Point to obtain a second fix.
They established a possible position 2.8nm N of Rosslyn Bay Harbour. The Rescue Helicopter and GRR were then redirected to the new search area.
Relatives of the missing people arrived at the centre hoping for news.
The helicopter first gave a false sighting due to the the dredge buoys but then located the five people in the water with their upturned boat.
All five people were winched into the helicopter which headed to Rockhampton.
The crew on RV McDonald's were able to come alongside the upturned boat, retrieve the EPIRB from the water and deactivate it.
The occupants of the boat reported to the helicopter crew that a wave had capsized their boat and one passenger was initially trapped underneath. They stayed with the boat and took an hour to bring the EPIRB to the surface and turn it on.
It was a successful operation in very rough conditions but it highlighted the difficulty of searching for a submerged boat in poor visibility without an established starting point.
7.25am: A FAMILY clung to the hull of their dinghy for more than two and a half hours yesterday after the boat overturned in wild waters off the Capricorn Coast.
The six-metre aluminium boat was found 3km northeast of Rosslyn Bay.
Two adults and three children were winched to safety by members of the RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter Service.
The survivors had an EPIRB.
None of the family were reportedly injured.
Further details were not available last night.