Where there’s smoke, there was a broken down boat
A BOATIE who was well-equipped with safety gear, but forgot his mobile phone, was rescued by Ballina Jet Boat Surf Rescue this morning after his tinnie broke down.
On-call skipper for the jet boat, Garry Meredith, said reports came through police and surf lifesaving that a boat was on fire about 1km off the coast of Ballina’s Shelly Beach at about 8.45am.
The jet boat located one boatie off the beach, but he wasn’t in any trouble.
The crew then saw a hand-held orange flare further north from the original reported location.
The boatie in a tinnie of about 3.5m in length, was holding the flare, and had also laid out an orange distress sheet on the bow of his vessel.
The boat wasn’t on fire. The smoke, which prompted reports of fire, had come from the several flares the boatie had set off.
The man had decided to head back into Ballina when the sea conditions began to deteriorate, but his boat’s motor wouldn’t start, and his efforts to make a repair were unsuccessful.
The boatie, uninjured and not in distress, was brought into Ballina by the jet boat crew, towing his vessel.
The boatie told the jet boat crew he didn’t have a marine radio, but generally took his mobile phone with him.