Two people were rescued this morning from a stranded 4m “tinny” boat in the Dampier Creek, in Broome, after tidal movements left them stuck in the mud plain / mangroves overnight. The local Broome pair, a man and a woman both in their 50’s who were crabbing, became stuck about 4:00pm yesterday, Wednesday 16 January 2012, and elected to stay in the boat and wait for the next high tide. This kind of situation can be a regular occurrence in that location. Police were made aware of the situation, and given they had food and water with them it was decided to wait and see if the higher tide would free them.
Just before 6:00am this morning, information was received that the change in tides was not enough to free them from the mud plain / mangroves, and their supplies would only last for a limited period of time. GPS coordinates were provided to police, and due to concerns for their safety and welfare a Land Search and Rescue Operation was initiated involving State Emergency Service volunteers. Volunteer Marine Rescue Service was also advised, however they were unable to assist due to the level of the tide.
Just after 7:30am four State Emergency Service volunteers in two four wheel drive vehicles were deployed to Crab Creek Road, in thick mangroves, scrub and mud. The search team managed to get within 200m of the GPS coordinates before the terrain forced them to abandon their vehicles and continue on foot. Just after 9:00am the two missing people were located by the SES search team and they were rescued from the mangrove.
The pair were taken to the Broome Police Station where they were de-briefed. Both of them appeared to be in good health, however there were concerns regarding dehydration and mosquito bites, and they did not require medical assistance. Their fast rescue can be attributed to the fact they were well prepared, and had a mobile phone, GPS and other emergency equipment which meant they were able to notify and assist police with the rescue.