When rescuers need rescuing

COFFS HARBOUR Coastal Patrol rescuers were in need of a helping hand themselves yesterday when their boat struck a whale.

The rescue boat put to sea when a runabout with two people aboard had a flat battery south of the harbour.

“Our rescue boat got the go-ahead to go out and as it was heading out of the harbour it hit a whale. The two crewmen aboard didn’t even see it,” said coastal patrol spokesman Bill McCarron.

“We sustained a bit of damage to one of the motors which became jammed up behind a safety rail.

“A mechanic did some initial repairs and we’ve taken the boat for a trial run. We’ll put the boat up on the slip to ensure there was no damage underneath.

“Thankfully, no-one was injured in the incident.”

The coastal patrol sent an incident report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service so rangers could check on the welfare of the whale.

Coffs Harbour water police were needed to tow the rescue boat back to port and to deliver a fresh battery to the broken down runabout which sparked the initial emergency.



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