The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) says the value of Australian shipping and the industry’s highly trained crews has been proven yet again with the rescue of three people stranded in the sea off Fremantle for close to three hours.
Local media reports said that around 8.10pm on Saturday night, the skipper of a recreational boat, which had been returning from Rottnest Island, alerted Fremantle Sea Rescue and Water Police that three people had fallen from the vessel.
MUA WA Branch Assistant Secretary Danny Cain said crew members on board the Far Statesman were called upon for search and rescue 10 miles off Fremantle.
“At around 22:40 all hands on deck heard shouts of help off the vessel’s starboard bow and with a sweep of the spotlight three people were spotted in the water,” Cain said.
“Our bridge informed the water police of our position and all three people were pulled to safety after police arrived.
“A great job was done by all on board with a safe ending to what could have been a tragedy.
“This is the second rescue performed by this crew in the past three months and goes to show that local knowledge goes a long way in emergency situations.”
Police said while the vessel was equipped with all required safety equipment, the missing people weren't wearing life vests.
The three people - two 24-year-old women and s 30-year-old man - were kept in hospital overnight and treated for exhaustion, having drifted almost two kilometres in the 35 knot conditions.
It is not yet known what caused them to fall into the water.