A local father and son were rescued this afternoon in Narooma having capsized on the notorious Narooma Bar. Attempting to enter the bar from the north the pair came unstuck and their open 5m craft capsized, fortunately offering the pair supplementary floatation to the life jackets that both wore. In a solid and rapid turnout the alarm saw the response of the key emergency units including a helicopter attending the incident. The multi-service attendance reflected the well practiced training that has been put in readiness for such incidents. The boat eventually sank and will most likely wash ashore in the coming days. Today's incident is a timely reminder that even with good local knowledge, as the father and son had, the Narooma Bar is not to be underestimated. Today's sea conditions were not unusual however the entry to the bar was made at the bottom of the tide and made with an approach on the more sandy northern side. Marine Rescue NSW reported: At approximately 2pm this afternoon a capsized vessel was observed from the Marine Rescue Radio Base to be 20 metres seaward from the Narooma bar.
Two people with life jackets were observed to be clinging to the hull of the capsized vessel. A Mayday call was issued and the Duty Crew activated. The capsized vessel drifted due east of the bar entrance and was kept under observation from the Marine Rescue Base until it sank, approximately 120 - 150 metres offshore.
The two people continued to drift eastwards toward a private fishing vessel. The Marine Rescue Narooma radio operator attempted to contact that vessel by radio to request assistance, however that vessel did not respond. Shortly afterwards, the private fishing vessel moved toward the two people in the water and rescued them as Marine Rescue Narooma NA 30 and Maritime 1 crossed the bar.
At approximately 2:25pm the two people were taken aboard NA 30 and transported to the APEX boat ramp, with NA 30 advising that they were not in need of medical assistance.
NA 30, and NA 11 and NA 12, which had also been activated, returned to the waters abeam of the Narooma bar to search for the capsized vessel and to collect debris from the water to reduce navigational hazards.
A great effort by the Narooma team.
Photo, file photo of NA 30.