Boating Incident Cape Sorell – West Coast

At 4:00pm on the 6th December 2017 police received a distress call that a recreational fishing vessel had lost power, broken off its anchor and was being blown to sea.

The Police Vessel Pillara III was dispatched from Strahan to the stricken vessels last known position approximately one nautical mile off the coast near Hells Gates.

The stricken vessel was unable to be located in that area and was directed via mobile phone to activate distress flares. The flares were sighted and the stricken vessel was eventually located four nautical miles north of Cape Sorell and drifting fast in the prevailing 20kt southerly conditions.

The vessel was taken under tow and safely returned to Macquarie Harbour.

“A much larger and costlier search was avoided thanks to the persons involved carrying the proper safety equipment. This is a great example of a good, safe outcome due to the proper boating safety precautions being taken.”
Constable Wayne Bradford, Strahan Marine and Rescue Services.

Information can be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at