Bulk carrier rescues castaways off Queensland

RTM Twarra (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Capt. Turboboss)

A Singaporean-flagged cargo vessel came to the aid of eight people who had gone adrift in the waters off Queensland, Australia, after their boat sank on Friday, September 18.

The bulk carrier RTM Twarra was ordered to divert to the area to render assistance after an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) surveillance aircraft spotted the survivors floating in a life raft near North West Island off Gladstone.

The AMSA said the EPIRB on the survivors’ eight-metre catamaran was activated at around 10:00 local time on Friday after the boat began taking on water, prompting the Queensland Police and other local authorities to launch a search and rescue (SAR) operation.

The bulk carrier was the first to arrive in the area. Its crew then brought the four adults and four children off the life raft and aboard the larger vessel, where they were cared for prior to the arrival of a SAR helicopter with embarked medical personnel.

The helicopter later evacuated the survivors to Yeppoon Rosslyn Bay.

The AMSA added that an investigation has been launched to determine why the boat had suffered water ingress.

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