CREW on board the tug/supply ship, Far Statesman (IMO 9631759), were among those to come to the aid of three people lost at sea between Rottnest Island and Fremantle.
A spokesman for WA Water Police said about 8.10pm on Saturday January 28, they were alerted by the skipper of a pleasure craft that three people had fallen overboard.
They were two women (both aged 24) and one man (aged 30) who were at the back of the boat when they fell overboard for unknown reasons about four nautical miles west of Swanbourne.
Although the vessel was equipped with safety equipment the missing people were not wearing life vests.
“Water Police immediately began coordinating search activities using police airwing and police boats, and with the assistance of various craft from Fremantle,” the spokesman said.
“After about 2 ½ hours the three missing people were located in the water and taken aboard the pilot vessel Berkeley. They were conveyed to Fremantle, and then to hospital where they are being treated for exhaustion.”
In all, three aircraft and nine vessels were involved in the search and rescue.”
Police praised the efforts of crew of nearby vessels in the area.
MUA WA Branch assistant secretary Danny Cain said around 10.40pm those on deck of Far Statesman heard shouts for help off the starboard bow.
“Our bridge informed the Water Police of our position and all three people were pulled to safety after police arrived,” Mr Cain said.
“A great job was done by all on board with a safe ending to what could have been a tragedy.
“This is the second rescue performed by this crew in the past three months and goes to show that local knowledge goes a long way in emergency situations.”
Far Statesman is a Norwegian-flagged vessel operating in Australia.