Tanker Rescues Two People Clinging to Wood Plank in Torres Strait

A passing tanker transiting the Torres Strait off the coast of Australia helped rescue two people clinging to a wood plank after their vessel sank.

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority reports that a coastal pilot on the Marshall Islands-flagged MT Godam contacted Townsville Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) at 7:15 a.m. on December 3 to report a sighting of two people on a timber plank in the water.

The location for the sighting was reported to be 10km southeast of Sue Islet, Warraber Reef. Conditions were reported as rough with two to three meter swells and wind around 30 knots.

“Townsville VTS immediately contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) who tasked its Challenger search and rescue jet from Cairns and a Queensland Government rescue helicopter to the area.

“Both aircraft arrived on scene at about 9am, at which point in time the tanker’s crew had managed to retrieve one person from the water successfully. The second person was rescued from the water by the rescue helicopter,” the AMSA said.

The agency said the two people entered the water at about 4 p.m. the day before after their boat sank for unknown reasons.