Boat fishermen run out of luck
By DAWN COHEN
TWO men were rescued when their four-metre runabout capsized about three kilometres south of South Wall in Ballina yesterday.
Tim Carlyle and his son, Louis, of Lismore, were returning home at about 12.45pm after a morning's fishing, when a wave capsized their boat.
"They were at the last break about 100 metres from shore," said holidaymaker Stephen Spiller, who was fishing from the beach.
"One minute they were there, then they were behind a wave, and the next minute they were gone.
"The water was fairly calm," he said.
The 38-year-old Queenslander called police.
The Carlyle men clung to the hull of their boat for about 20 minutes until rescued by the Ballina Jetboat Surf Rescue crew.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew also was called in.
Jetboat president Pat O'Connor and his brother, Shane, pulled the two men out of the water. Captain Garry Meredith piloted the rescue vessel.
Tim Carlyle was in pain from sore ribs, but Louis was unhurt.
The helicopter flew the older man to Lismore Base Hospital, where rib injuries were treated.
The injury was not serious, Westpac Life saver Rescue Helicopter winch operator Mark Sewell said.
Police and ambulance officers had to ferry four-wheeldrive vehicles to South Ballina, before traversing a sandy track about two kilometres from South Wall, to reach the scene.
Meanwhile, Louis stayed with the Ballina Jetboat surf rescuers, helping them salvage the boat.
The drenched and exhausted man was driven back from the beach by police an hour later.
Mr Meredith said the volunteer jetboat service had assisted with five rescues this month.
"It has been the busiest month in the 20 years I have done this work," Mr Meredith said. "We got the police radio call at 12.54pm. We were in the water by 1pm."