Night vision from capsized vessel rescue

Sailors rescued from upturned boat after capsize overnight

TWO sailors have been rescued off Fraser Island after their boat capsized in breaking waves south of Fraser Island. 

The Sunshine Coast RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was called into the search after the crew's EPIRB emergency beacon was set off about 11.20pm Thursday night.

The 12m catamaran was found on the eastern side of the Wide Bay Bar, overturned, with two people clinging to the upturned hull. 

The CareFlight helicopter performed overwatch duties while coordinating with a local Coastguard watercraft, which was able to safely collect the stranded sailors.

CareFlight Aircrew Officer Dan Leggat said that the mission was particularly well executed thanks to one piece of essential equipment.

"I think the defining aspect of this successful mission was the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVGs)," he said.

"Using our on-board NVGs we were able to detected the faint flicker of the small lights attached the personal floatation devices that the sailors were wearing."

"Those lights, however faint, were actually one of the first things we saw - which made finding the vessel all the more easier.

"I think, without the use of NVGs, the mission would have been incredibly more difficult."


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