Shoalhaven News

Fishermen rescued after boat sinks off South Coast

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A couple of fisherman have been pulled from the water off Bermagui after their 15 foot boat sunk yesterday.

The blokes were rescued about 1.5 km off shore following a multi-agency response.

Marine Rescue NSW said it received a mayday call from a vessel in distress off Bermagui Harbour at 12.18pm.

“Mayday, mayday, we’re taking on water.

"We’re outside Bermagui Harbour,” was the only information received in the emergency broadcast.

The call sparked an all ships call-out.++

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked by NSW Police to the scene along with the Surf Life Saving Incident Response Team from Bermagui.

Surf Life Saving NSW Duty Officer Chery McCarthy immediately tasked an Inflatable Rescue Boat to the location of the vessel.

She then proceeded to a Bermagui headland where, using binoculars, she spotted the upturned and sinking vessel approximately 1.5 kilometres offshore.

"I spotted the vessel and the two men because of the bright orange colour of their life jackets.

"I then contacted the Westpac Helicopter and the IRB crew and advised them of the location of the vessel," she said.

The Surf Life Saving NSW IRB reached the sinking vessel at the same time as the helicopter.

As the helicopter hovered overhead, volunteer lifesavers Ewan McKenzie and William Vaughan-Smith rescued the two men who were in the water and clinging to the rapidly sinking vessel.

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Life jackets saved the Victorian men in their 60's who were holidaying on the South Coast.

Despite the ordeal, the pair were in pretty good shape after being assessed by paramedics.

It is not known what caused their boat to take on water and sink.

Images: Marine Rescue Bermagui