Father and son rescued in close call

Daryna ZadvirnaAlbany Advertiser
The Plaisteds boat being towed back to shore.
Camera IconThe Plaisteds boat being towed back to shore. Credit: Supplied

A father-son boating trip on Albany’s coast was a close call for a pair of visitors after their boat got stranded at sea in “hectic” conditions on Sunday.

York man Darren Plaisted said he and his father Glen were on their way back to shore when their motor stopped.

The 36-year-old made a phone call to his mother to ask for help because their locator had fallen overboard and the radio was not working, before his phone battery ran out.

“We were terrified with every minute that passed. There were waves bigger than our boat — it was hectic,” he said.

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A fellow camper tried to rescue the men but had to turn his boat back as the conditions were too rough. “By the time time they found us we had drifted about 13km from our original location,” Mr Plaisted said.

Albany Sea Rescue captain Chris Johns said the men were extremely lucky to be found and rescued, nearly four hours after he had been alerted.

“Luckily, one of the boys on the boat managed to get a couple of calls out and that’s how we were alerted,” he said.

“But then his phone died and we were completely in the dark about their whereabouts.

“We were really concerned.

“I thought ‘this is really serious’ because of the conditions, the wind was blowing them further away with every minute and we had one boat in a really big search area.

“So I called the police to see if it’d be possible to get a plane up because it was getting into the afternoon and it wouldn’t be too long before it would be too dark for us to see anything.”

Mr Johns said the pair were finally found after they set off their flares. He said they were very emotional when the rescue boat reached them.

“They were pretty much in tears, particularly the young guy was so emotional, saying he was worried he would never see his daughter again,” Mr Johns said.

Mr Plaisted said the experience was an “eye-opener”.

“It was cold and it was very, very scary,” he said.

“Honestly, I thought ‘another hour and we’re gone’.

“Make sure if you go out there you have the right two-ways and have your locator close to the floor, not above your head where it could easily drop into the water, because you never know what might happen.”

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