Winner of the IMRF Awards 2019 Category: Team

In April this year, Marine Rescue Port Macquarie received a mayday alert that a 10m motor cruiser with three people on board had run into something hard at sea.

The impact was so severe that two people on board had suspected back injuries and the third had a broken jaw.

Two vessels were initially deployed to begin the search. It took some time to find the boat, as the crew member with the broken jaw – the only one able to communicate - could hardly speak. 

When they finally found the badly damaged motor cruiser, it was sinking. 

One crew member had a broken back, deep cuts and abrasions; the second had a suspected punctured lung, broken eye socket, broken ribs, and broken jaw, and the third had a broken floating jaw, broken eye sockets, dislocated shoulder and broken arm.

Two rescue crew boarded the sinking motor cruiser and gave first aid, while the other rescue boats brought a water pump and two paramedics.

The two casualties with back injuries could not be moved and a decision was taken to tow the vessel slowly home.  But as the tow began, the vessel started sinking faster.

The rescue crew decided to use the water to carefully float the injured out - very risky, because as the vessel sank there was a real chance it would roll.

At no time did the Marine Rescue crew members leave the side of the casualties.

As the water poured into the motor cruiser, the Marine Rescue members assisted the two with back injuries, by floating them over the stair through the cabin onto the back deck, where in no time at all the stricken vessel disappeared into the darkness, leaving the three casualties and 2 Marine Rescue members in the water.

A third Marine Rescue vessel arrived to assist, bringing two paramedics, who were very impressed with the standard of triage carried out by the Marine Rescue volunteers.

After a rescue operation lasting more than six hours, during which the Marine Rescue team demonstrated great skill and courage, they finally managed to get the casualties to safety.

Photo Gallery

IMRF Awards 2019 Finalist - Marine Rescue Port Macquarie, Sydney, Australia

Or view this gallery on Flickr.


Photo Gallery of the IMRF Awards 2019 Day

IMRF Awards 2019 - Ceremony - 10 September 2019

Or view the full IMRF Awards 2019 album in Flickr.