The two crew members of the runabout involved in Wednesday’s sea drama at Chinamans Beach escaped injury, but would-be rescuer Dave Blakeney remains in hospital.
The two crew members of the runabout involved in Wednesday’s sea drama at Chinamans Beach escaped injury, but would-be rescuer Dave Blakeney remains in hospital.

Good Samaritan injured

THE would-be rescuer of an Evans Head fisherman who got into trouble off Chinamans Beach on Wednesday remains in Lismore Base Hospital in a stable condition.

Dave Blakeney, the deckhand of the Julia, was the brave fisherman who plunged into the water to try to hand a tow rope to the runabout, the Nikkiana, which had capsized.

Unfortunately, Mr Blakeney became tangled in the line and had to swim to shore to save himself.

After making it to the beach he collapsed with chest and back pain and was then transported to hospital by the Westpac Rescue Lifesaver Helicopter.

The extent of the Goonellabah man’s injuries and how long he will remain in hospital is not known.

The Nikkiana capsized after being swamped by breakers close to shore. It’s believed its skipper became disoriented in the dark.

The dramatic rescue has become a little clearer after sources in Evans Head confirmed that a jet ski operator played a big part in the eventual salvaging of the Nikkiana.

The skipper of the Julia, Michael Endres, alerted fishing charter operator Mick McGillivray who also owns a jet ski.

Mr McGillivray then obtained some ropes from the local Fishermen’s Co-Op which helped salvage the capsized vessel.

It is understood the Julia’s skipper attempted to raise the Evans Head Volunteer Coast Guard for assistance but was unable to.

It is not the first time the Julia has been involved in a local rescue.

The vessel has been involved in a number of rescues of amateur fisherman and was once struck by a Clarence-based trawler, causing the Julia to capsize.



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