PHOTOS: Dramatic rescue as boat sinks off Ballina
UPDATE, 8.20am: A MAN and woman have been rescued in an emergency operation after their boat sank offshore 4nm south of Ballina early this morning.
The boaters activated their EPIRB at 2am and made a mayday call that was picked up by an overnight radio operator at Marine Rescue Sydney.
A crew from Marine Rescue Ballina and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service were rapidly activated.
The helicopter located the pair in the open water.
The Marine Rescue crew pulled the man and woman from the water and transported them to a waiting NSW Ambulance, providing immediate first aid for hypothermia.
The rescue helicopter stayed on scene until the rescue boat was safely across the hazardous Ballina bar.
Marine Rescue NSW's Northern Rivers regional operations manager, John Murray, said the emergency services had mounted a rapid and professional response.
"This operation in the dead of night is proof of the value of the services' regular joint training exercises, which ensure everyone works seamlessly to save lives on the water," he said.
Original story: THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked at 2.30am this morning via AMSA and NSW Police after reports were received of a boat sinking off Ballina.
A 14m boat was found after the helicopter crew conducted a beacon search (EPIRB).
Two people were located in the water.
"The crew deployed a strobe and directed a Marine Rescue vessel where they were picked up," a rescue helicopter spokesman said.
"The helicopter stayed overhead until the Marine Rescue Vessel crossed the Ballina bar in big swell.
"Ambulance NSW Paramedics treated and transported (the people) to Ballina Hospital.
"No further information is available at this time."
A spokesperson from NSW Ambulance said the two people were in hospital suffering from hypothermia.