Three men rescued after dinghy sank in Frederick Henry Bay

Three men have been rescued after their dinghy sank in Frederick Henry Bay in Southern Tasmania this morning.

Police received a 000 call from a distressed man who was in the water after his vessel had sunk in the Frederick Henry / Storm Bay Area about 9am this morning.

The man was unable to give an accurate location prior to communication being lost.

Police launched an urgent search in the Frederick Henry Bay, Storm Bay and Black Jack Rocks area.

This search involved the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Police Vessel Dauntless, Police Fast Response Vessel, 5 land based Uniformed units, volunteers from Surf Lifesaving Australia and members of the public.

A short time later three men aged in their 20s and early 30s were located by a nearby vessel. The three men were in the water between Cape Deslacs at Clifton and North West Head on the Blackjack Shore.

The men had set off fishing earlier in the morning and a short time later the vessel began to take on water. The men attempted to start the engine to return to Cremorne, however, the vessel had quickly become swamped with water and sank within a matter of minutes.

The men were all wearing PFDs at the time. They were taken by a member of the public to the Cremorne Boat Ramp where they were met by police and Ambulance Tasmania. All three were treated at the scene and one of the men was taken to Hospital suffering from exposure. All are expected to make a full recovery.

Senior Constable Callum Herbert from Marine and Rescue Services said “We are very thankful that the three men were located alive and well. We wish to extend our thanks to the members of the public that assisted with the search, as we held grave fears for the lives of the men and they were incredibly fortunate to have been rescued as quickly as they were.”

Police would like to take this opportunity to remind members of the boating community of several key boating points:

Always plan your trip and advise people of your destination and time of return.

Always carry appropriate and well maintained safety equipment aboard vessels.

All PFDs should comply with Tasmanian Standards and users and owners of inflatable PFD’s should familiarise themselves with their operation and have them serviced regularly.

When purchasing a vessel it should be thoroughly examined for seaworthiness and if in doubt seek professional advice.

Carry mobile phones in a waterproof cover or invest in a waterproof VHF radio.