RAAF Hercules Rescues 3 Adrift at Sea

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By George Hatcher

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Phil Vabre

What: Qantas Boeing 767-300 en route from Melbourne to Perth
Where: Esperance
When: May 10th 2010
Who: 3 men aboard a life raft
Why: While en route, the flight got a message to assist in keeping an eye on a drifting raft while rescue crews came in to assist. An RAAF Hercules C130 was en route, but had not yet arrived–but the rescue arrived before the Boeing so the Qantas flight continued as usual. The Hercules rescued three survivors from a sunken fishing boat. Their emergency beacon had gone off about 7 a m about 93 nautical miles SW of Esperance. The distress flair had been witnessed by rescue personnel. The nearest boat was 50 miles away.

The owner of the sunken crayfishing boat, Paddy Daniels and his crew Corey Major and Anthony Mansted, were rescued at 1:45pm after a harrowing day in freezing conditions on the life raft. They had boarded it with a hurried selection of supplies at 6 a m after discovering the boat taking on water.

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