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Three rescued after whale sinks boat

A police spokeswoman said the men were travelling on the 14-metre vessel from Port Samson to Geraldton, about eight kilometres west of the Exmouth peninsula, when they hit the large mammal about 11.30pm and began to sink.

Three rescued after whale sinks boat
06 October 2010 - 06:51

The three fishermen arrive ashore after their boat was sunk by a whale. Photo: Channel TenThe three fishermen arrive ashore after their boat was sunk by a whale. Photo: Channel Ten

A father, son and their friend spent four frightening hours in the open ocean off the north-west Australian coast after their boat sank when they hit a whale last night.

A police spokeswoman said the men were travelling on the 14-metre vessel from Port Samson to Geraldton, about eight kilometres west of the Exmouth peninsula, when they hit the large mammal about 11.30pm and began to sink.

The men, a 47-year-old, his 22-year-old son and a 48-year-old friend, made a mayday call and activated an emergency EPIRB radio beacon.

Advertisement: Story continues below "They hit something hard, solid, they suspect it's a whale," Senior Sergeant Greg Trew of WA Water Police said.

"They abandoned ship and were in the water for about four hours."

Police said they were lucky to be wearing life jackets at the time because the trio were not strong swimmers.

They were located unharmed in the ocean four hours later by an oil tender, after a sea rescue co-ordinated by the police and volunteer marine rescue in Exmouth.

"They're all in good health, they were prepared for it and did everything right," Sergeant Trew said.

"Horrendous seas out there, it was pretty shocking conditions, 35-knot winds and three to four metre swells, it was pretty nasty. It would have been pretty bloody awful."

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