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Author Topic: Tugboat crash behind fatal capsize  (Read 977 times)
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Nick Smith
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« on: May 26, 2016, 07:48:45 am »

Tugboat crash behind fatal Queensland capsize[/b

A fishing boat that capsized off the north Queensland coast, killing its skipper, overturned in a collision with a tugboat, police believe.

Two crew, including one trapped in the upturned hull of the 17-metre vessel, were rescued off the coast of Bowen on Wednesday but the ship's skipper couldn't be revived.

Inspector Steve O'Connell believes they collided around 1.5 kilometres offshore near the Bowen Harbour.

"The investigation will focus on what caused these two vessels to collide under seemingly good conditions," he said.

Police reiterated praise for a quick-thinking diver who fed an underwater oxygen line to one of the men trapped in the upturned hull of the boat.

Inspector Steve O'Connell said two commercial divers jumped in the water, with one getting an oxygen line to the fisherman who was in an air pocket.
"Without them I think we might have had a different outcome for that man," he said.

"That diver was able to get an airline through with oxygen that we had on board from ambulance officers."

The trapped fisherman was able to make tapping noises on the underside of the hull which alerted divers to where he was.

He was eventually freed and taken to hospital conscious but groggy.

Maritime Safety Queensland will attempt to determine the circumstances of the capsize, while police divers have recovered boat fragments from the sea floor.

Tug operator Svitzer said the company was fully cooperating with authorities.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of the deceased," a spokesman said.

"We are offering counselling and support to our employees, the family of the deceased as well as those injured on the fishing boat."

The two rescued men, believed to be in their 20s, were released from hospital on Wednesday night.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/tugboat-crash-behind-fatal-queensland-capsize-20160526-gp4h94.html
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