A mystery caller alerted the Coast Guard to a flare set off by sailors, after the boat they were trying to get the attention of missed their distress signal.
A mystery caller alerted the Coast Guard to a flare set off by sailors, after the boat they were trying to get the attention of missed their distress signal.

Mystery caller saved sailors stranded

A stranded sailor plucked from freezing cold shark infested waters off Queensland's coast has spoken of his relief at being rescued.

Experienced Brisbane yachtsman Samuel Martel and Guy Sherro were about six kilometres off shore when their Hobie two man catamaran capsized in rough waters yesterday.

As light faded help couldn't come soon enough for the duo, who were marooned about halfway between King and Green Island in Moreton Bay.

Guy Sherro and Samuel Martel rescued by the Brisbane Coast Guard after capsizing in Moreton Bay. Photo: Brisbane Coast Guard – QF2
Guy Sherro and Samuel Martel rescued by the Brisbane Coast Guard after capsizing in Moreton Bay. Photo: Brisbane Coast Guard – QF2

"The boat was still upside down and we were in the water and it got dark by that time, it was dusk, so we tried to stay out of the water as much as we could for shark reasons," Mr Martel told The Courier-Mail.

"Being upside down in the water for so long we were starting to realise (the boat) was getting lower and lower, so if we were out there too long it wouldn't have ended too great for us."

Unable to right the vessel, the pair let off a flare about 5pm.

It was seen by a member of the public at Manly and the Brisbane Coast Guard were notified.

"We actually deployed it at a vessel approaching us, so we thought for sure they'll see it and rescue us but they carried on by," Mr Martel said.

The pairs two man Hobie catamaran started to sink at dusk. Photo: Brisbane Coast Guard – QF2
The pairs two man Hobie catamaran started to sink at dusk. Photo: Brisbane Coast Guard – QF2

"Then someone on the shore from ages away saw it and they reported it which was great.

"We're very thankful for whoever that was".

Mr Martel said they managed to flip the boat around with the coast guard arriving about 15 minutes later.

"We were just happy to see them, they were cool, calm and collected and happy to help," he said.

"I was impressed with the response time. Given the time it takes to get a crew together, launch a boat and get out there we weren't in the water too long."

Despite only being stranded for about 45 minutes Mr Martel said doubt did creep in.

The Brisbane Coast Guard tows the sailors back to land. Photo: Brisbane Coast Guard – QF2
The Brisbane Coast Guard tows the sailors back to land. Photo: Brisbane Coast Guard – QF2

"It goes slow when you're out there. You definitely have time to think of all the possible negative outcomes," he said.

A keen sailor since he was seven Mr Martel was back out on the water today.

 "I was really contemplating whether I should because I was a bit nervous, I really didn't want a repeat but it's good to get back out as soon as you can because if you let that build you'll never go back out again."

Originally published as Mystery caller saved sailors stranded off Brisbane


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