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‘Waves coming over’: Fishermen rescued as boat starts to sink off Dawesville coast

Two fishermen have been rescued after their boat started to sink off the coast of Dawesville on Tuesday evening.

Ryan Grigsby and a friend, who didn’t want to be named, were headed out to sea for an afternoon of fishing when they noticed a significant amount of water in the rear of their boat about 25 kilometres off the Dawesville Cut.

Mr Grigsby told Skeer Media he had to use his mobile phone to contact Mandurah Volunteer Marine Rescue as their marine radio stopped working.

“There were waves coming over the back of the boat,” Mr Grigsby said.

“They told us to turn the EPIRB on and within about 20 minutes, we had a police chopper over the top of us.

“We had to throw the esky over, set off two smoke flares [and] two parachute flares.”

The Police Air Wing located the two and circled until a Mandurah VMR vessel reached them.

The fishermen were instructed to drive the sinking boat back to the Bouvard marina as they stood in “knee-deep water” under the supervision of rescue crews.

“I was sitting on the front, right up at the bow trying to keep the nose down,” Mr Grigsby said.

Skeer Media was there when the two cheered in celebration as they entered the cut.

Watch: Fishermen rescued off Dawesville coast. Vision: Tex Reeks.

The pair said they started to panic as it got darker but made it back to land shortly before the sun went down.

“I work on a fishing boat so it was a bit different for me but for [my friend] it was a bit stressful, starting to freak out and stuff,” Mr Grigsby said.

“I thought I was a goner,” the other fishermen said.

Skeer Media asked if the bung (a rubber plug at the rear of the boat that is removed, once the vessel is on land, to drain any water as it is towed) had forgotten to be put in.

“We knew we had the bung in, I thought it would be one of the repairs on the back of the boat but no it wasn’t, it was a big hole up the front,” Mr Grigsby explained.

“We didn’t even get to fish.”

The vessel had a large hole in the starboard side of the hull, however, it is unclear how it got there as the men said they didn’t hit anything.

Tex Reeks

Texas (Tex) Reeks is a video journalist and national award-winning news photographer. Reeks' dedication and commitment to local news media and telling stories has seen him build an extensive portfolio in Western Australia's news industry from a young age. Writing online stories and covering news events for Perth's mainstream media networks, Reeks, has covered and broken some of WA's biggest breaking news stories including shark attacks, police manhunts, plane crashes, major crime investigations, and major political incidents. Reek's interest and knowledge in criminology and policing results in his focus on crime and court stories.
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