A stranded kayaker was rescued off the Safety Bay coast yesterday, Thursday 17 June 2021, after Water Police coordinated a marine rescue operation involving Marine Rescue Rockingham volunteers and the RAC Rescue helicopter in response to a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) activation.
About 5:45pm Water Police were advised by the AMSA Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra of a distress beacon activation about 500 meters offshore from the Safety Bay Yacht Club. Marine Rescue Rockingham and the RAC Rescue helicopter were deployed. The rescue helicopter located the kayaker and maintained observations while the Marine Rescue Rockingham vessel moved in and rescued him from the water.
The rescue vessel transported the kayaker – a man aged in his 60s – to the Bent Street Boat Ramp where they were met by Rockingham Police and St John Ambulance. The rescued kayaker was taken to Rockingham General Hospital by St John Ambulance, where he remained overnight.
It has since been established the man was fishing from his kayak about 500m offshore near the Penguin Island sand bar. He planned to return well before sunset. He was well prepared – wearing a life jacket with a Personal Locator Beacon attached. He was also wearing warm clothes and was carrying a mobile phone.
Whilst kayaking across the sandbar he was capsized by a wave. He managed to get back onto his kayak after about 30 minutes, before being capsized again.
Unable to get back onto the kayak he became cold and tired, losing his strength. At this point he activated his PLB. The PLB activation triggered the marine search and rescue operation coordinated by Water Police, which ultimately led to him being rescued.
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