Two fishers who helped a group of five men after their boat overturned have described the rescue as “very lucky”.

Key points:

  • Five men were rescued off Carpenter Rocks by a pair of fishers on Tuesday morning
  • The group had been clinging to the upturned boat for about an hour before they were rescued
  • They were treated for mild hypothermia but are otherwise uninjured

Dale Brant and Rick Hill were checking their lobster pots off Carpenter Rocks when they noticed the overturned boat about a kilometre from shore on Tuesday morning.

“So, we shot over there and rescued them and bought them back in.”

The five men were treated for mild hypothermia by ambulance staff at the scene but were otherwise unharmed.

Police said the men were pulling in a snagged lobster pot when their boat capsized.

The Cape Banks lighthouse stands at the end of Lighthouse Bay at Carpenter Rocks.(ABC South East SA: Isadora Bogle)

Mr Brant said it was a relief that no-one was seriously injured.

“One bloke, he was worn right out,” he said.

“They’d been on the water for an hour before we came across them.

He said it was a rough day on the water without many people around.

“There was only one professional cray boat out, and that was it, apart from us collecting our pots, that was all that was on the water.

“If we hadn’t gone out, they might have been waiting a while before someone saw them,” Mr Brant said.

His friend Rick Hill said he spotted some men in the water in front of the Cape Banks lighthouse.

“We thought it was only about two guys to start off with,” Mr Hill said.

“As we got closer, I thought it was three, but nope, four then five people there with a capsized boat.”

“They’re very lucky.”

Mr Hill said none of the five men was wearing life jackets.

“Wear a life jacket, have proper gear, make sure you’re safe out there, you just don’t know what can happen,” he said.

Water safety warning

Limestone Coast Police officer in charge Superintendent Phil Hoff said he was glad everyone was OK.

“Thankfully, no-one’s been lost,” he said.

“We’re really grateful no lives were lost on this occasion.”

Superintendent Phil Hoff says the incident is a “timely reminder” for people to be water safe.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

But Superintendent Hoff said incidents like this were happening far too often.

“Once again, we’ve had people trying to retrieve a pot, and this is becoming a familiar pattern of accidents down on our coastline,” he said.

“[These are] people trying to get a lobster pot up, and what they generally describe as a ‘freak wave’ coming along and rolling them over.

“There is no such thing as a ‘freak wave’, the waves are there all the time, they just vary in size.”

He said it was important that members of the public always took care around the ocean.

“This is a really timely reminder for people to undertake the utmost vigilance when they’re in the water.

“You can go to the website and get all of the safety requirements that you need to carry on your boat.

“There’s an array of safety equipment ranging from EPIRBS to flares, and fire extinguishers and those sorts of things that must be carried and it’s up to every boat owner to be cognisant of what they must carry,” he said.