UPDATE 6.15PM: CABOOLTURE boat skipper Jay Robinson says a decision to turn around to collect an electronic beacon saved his and his mate's lives.
Mr Robinson, 31, and two mates, 34 and 14, were trying to cross a sandbar at the southern end of Bribie Island when they hit trouble on Saturday night.
"When we took off to go take the boat and launch it I completely forgot about my EPIRB and the flares so we had to turn around and come back to pick them up, luckily," Mr Robinson said.
They were crossing the bar about 10pm when a wave hit the front of the bow of the boat.
"Another rogue wave come from behind, like meeting each other and the whole back end got picked up, flipped around and dumped straight onto the edge of the sandbar.
"Two of my mates jumped out the back to lift it off."
He joined them, but they couldn't lift it.
"We ended up jumping back in the boat to start bailing water out but the waves were too strong.
"They filled the boat up within five minutes.
"We were capsized, we went straight over."
Mr Robinson was the only one wearing a lifejacket.
"The other two boys' lifejackets, they couldn't get to them in time.
"I held onto them with my life.
"I wasn't going to let anything happen to them."
He had his mobile phone in his mouth, EPIRB under his left and was dealing with pain of a dislocated knee.
"If I didn't set that EPIRB off I wouldn't have got through on the phone because it cut out after a couple of calls because of all the water."
The Polair helicopter located them and hovered above until a Bribie Island Volunteer Marine Rescue boat arrived about 11.30pm to pluck them from the water.
Panic and fear had set in as he waited to be rescued.
"Not for me as much but for my two passengers because I'm responsible for them so I wanted to make sure they were safe."
He said it was a relief to get onboard the rescue boat.
"Once I was in the rescue boat I knew I was safe
"Then the hypothermia set in so I was fighting the cold."
He said his mates were recovering well.
"I just want to sit back and relax and take it all in.
"I'm still sort of in shock at the moment just knowing that I could have died or that my mates could have died being out there."
Brisbane Water Police officer Senior Constable Mark Gardiner said Mr Robinson wasn't legally required to have an EPIRB in the waters he was travelling.
But luckily he had one anyway.
"He was smart enough to have all of the safety equipment," Snr Const Gardiner said.
"The outcome was favourable and that's what we like to see."
EARLIER: Vision of three fishermen clinging to their upturned boat has been released after they were rescued from waters off Bribie Island.
Bribie Island Volunteer Marine Rescue Coxswain Ian Grimes was a part of the crew that pulled the men from the water last night.
"The police helicopter was hovering in the air nearby," Mr Grimes said.
Two 34-year-old men and a 14-year-old boy were clinging to the upturned hull.
Their fibreglass 5.5m half cabin boat had been swamped near Gilligan's Island at the southern end of Bribie Island.
"We took them onboard and administered first aid.
"They were really appreciative to us for getting there and getting them out of the water."
The fishermen were taken back to the Bongaree jetty to be treated by paramedics for mild hypothermia.
EARLIER: THREE fishermen were left clinging precariously to their overturned vessel after their boat was swamped by waves in waters off Bribie Island last night.
Brisbane Water Police coordinated the rescue using the resources of the Polair2 helicopter and the Bribie Island Volunteer Marine Rescue.
Police were alerted to the plight of the trio about 10pm after they got into trouble east of the southern tip of Bribie Island.
Polair2 attended the scene and stayed with the stricken vessel until the arrival of the marine rescue boat shortly before 11.30pm.
The skipper, a 34-year-old man, a 14-year-old boy and another 34-year-old man - all from Caboolture - escaped their ordeal relatively unscathed with mild cases of hypothermia.
The marine rescue crew ferried the fishermen and their boat back to shore.
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