Crew Overboard As Tug Goes Bottom Up

Crew jump for their lives as tug overturns in Fremantle Harbour

Check out the Channel 9 footage

A tug boat overturned in Fremantle Harbour yesterday as it was preparing to pull a livestock ship off Berth 12, North Quay.

The tug master and deckhand on board jumped into the harbour avoiding serious injury and were picked up from the water by boat according to local press reports.

The capsized tug Bigadda was towed by a larger tug, Wambiri, to Berth 11 on North Quay and a 400 tonne crane will be used to lift it onto the berth.

The safety incident is being investigated.

Lynn Needham, the mother of a deckhand onboard, told the Perth Now her son was receiving medical treatment and was shocked by the ordeal.

"We're not sure exactly what happened yet, but my son is in shock. They jumped for their lives,'' she said.

The Fremantle Port Authority confirmed that a small tug which overturned in Inner Harbour just after noon was towed to a berth at the eastern end of the port.

FPA spokeswoman Ainslie de Vos said both crew on board the Svitzer Australia-owned Biggada were rescued shortly after the event and returned to shore safely.

The first man to be rescued, described only as a crew member, was picked up in the water near the vessel by the pilot boat Parmelia.

A second man, the tug master of the Biggada, was rescued a short time later by a dive crew working for joint venture partners Thiess Georgiou on the nearby reconstruction of berth 10.