Mackay teenager Jaiden Simonsen, 16, was lucky to escape with his mate and little brother after the boat they were on started sinking off Keswick Island on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Picture: Contributed
Mackay teenager Jaiden Simonsen, 16, was lucky to escape with his mate and little brother after the boat they were on started sinking off Keswick Island on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Picture: Contributed

‘I was just glad we didn’t sink to the bottom of the ocean’

A TEENAGER'S quick thinking has potentially saved three people from disaster at sea.

Jaiden Simonsen, 16, was fishing with best mate Keenan-John Dennis Selner Sanderson, 16, and his little brother Kaydan Dries, 13, offshore from Keswick Island when a situation arose worse than your boat motor not starting.

"It was pretty hectic," the Mackay teenager said.

"We noticed the boat was bringing in water.

"The water was too quick, the next thing we know it was going under.

"We tried taking the bung out and driving for a bit but there was already too much water in the boat.

"The motor then cut out because there was too much salt water."

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Mr Simonsen said they considered having to swim the 3km to Keswick Island while thoughts of his dad's reaction ran through his mind.

"I was just thinking, 'oh dad's going to flog me'," he said.

"That's what I was mostly scared of.

"It's his boat; it's a 4.8(m) Quintrex Hornet.

"Deadly boat, well it used to be a deadly boat."

Mackay teenager Jaiden Simonsen, 16, was lucky to escape with his mate and little brother after the boat they were on started sinking off Keswick Island on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Picture: Contributed
Mackay teenager Jaiden Simonsen, 16, was lucky to escape with his mate and little brother after the boat they were on started sinking off Keswick Island on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Picture: Contributed

Mr Simonsen said they made a mayday call to Volunteer Marine Rescue, popped on their life jackets and signalled to the closest boat in the area "for miles and miles".

"I was more worried about the other two," he said.

"I'm used to the water environment, they don't really go fishing too much.

Mr Simonsen said another boatie was there in about 10 minutes to give them a hand and tow their vessel back to the boat ramp.

"We gave what stuff we could save to them," Mr Simonsen said.

"Old mate who picked us up - they had some trout - so at least it was a good spot.

"I was just glad (the boat) didn't sink to the bottom of the ocean."

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Mr Simonsen said his dad still had not seen the aftermath as he was out at work.

"He was pretty pissed off but I think he was just happy that we're okay," he said.

He now had sage advice for other boaties planning to head out on the water.

"Just check your boat before you head out, have all your safety gear, because that woke me up on how quick stuff can go wrong.

"Always be prepared and have a working EPIRB."


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