Rescuers reveal boat tragedy details

The operation to rescue four men who were on a boat that capsized near Portland last week lasted more than five hours. Sadly a man from Red Lion died during the incident. Photo: Anne McCurdy.

The details of the five-and-a-half hour operation to rescue the men on board the boat that capsized near Portland last week and resulted in the death of a Red Lion man have been revealed.

The 61-year-old man, whose name has not yet been released, was on a fishing trip with three friends when the 18-foot catamaran they were on capsized at Dutton Way, near Portland at around midday on Wednesday afternoon.

The man’s body was found trapped under the hull of the boat at around 5 pm.

Portland Coast Guard media officer Stephen Brown said one of the first survivors who remained on the sinking boat, informed the rescuers that two of the men had fled the boat and attempted to swim to shore.

“The third man who stayed with the boat was pivotal in the rescue. He was able to give us the exact direction of where people were in the water,” Mr Brown said.

“He told us that he was looking for the fourth person but was unable to locate him. He felt that the man was trapped under the boat.

“The man indicated to us that there were no noises coming from under the vessel so priority immediately moved to the men in the water.

“On arrival the first priority was the man under the boat but after receiving more information and our attempts to right the vessel were unsuccessful, our priority was the men in the water.”

Mr Brown said the men had only managed to swim 100 metres from the boat before becoming fatigued.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, September 11.

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