Boat capsize drama on Evans River bar
TWO fishermen were thrown into the sea after their boat capsized while crossing the Evans Head bar yesterday morning.
The men, believed to be from the Casino area, were trying to get their 5.3-metre fibreglass runabout across the bar just before 9am when the boat was hit by a wave and overturned.
The two men were trapped under the boat for a short time before being able to escape and swim back to shore.
Fortunately, both were wearing lifejackets, helping them stay afloat during the drama.
It is believed two onlookers paddled out to try to help the two men trapped under their capsized boat, but could not get to them.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter duty pilot Lynton Beggs said there were no ambulances nearby, so the helicopter was called in case the situation became life-threatening.
“We were just told there were some guys in the water, so we got going,” he said.
“We couldn't land when we arrived, so we winched one of our guys down to check on the boat and the occupants.
“Obviously they weren't able to negotiate the surf and the boat has overturned.”
Evans Head Coastguard member Frank Staines said they had recommended that people avoid crossing the Evans River bar yesterday.
“Quite a few boats were still going out anyway, but there was a lot of white water,” he said.
“I guess these blokes just misjudged the waves. The boat rolled over and then washed up on the beach. It was a bit of a mishap.
“They were in shock, but they were fine.
“As far as I know, the guys had crossed the bar before, so they had some experience.”
Mr Beggs said the two fishermen suffered minor cuts and bruises during their ordeal.
Graham Watson, from the Evans Head surf club, said it was 'pretty rare' for a boat to capsize while trying to cross the Evans bar.
“Luckily everyone was okay. They just didn't wait for the wave or something,” he said.