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  • Sam Davis

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    Boat containing child rescued near Batt Reef

    A late night rescue has prompted a stern warning from water police for boaties.

    Authorities have rescued five men and a child from a broken down boat off the coast of Cairns overnight.

    A search and rescue operation was activated at around 8.30pm on Tuesday following reports to police that a vessel was missing near Batt Reef.

    It is believed the boat’s occupants were unable to be contacted as their mobile phones had flat batteries.

    The Rescue 510 Cairns helicopter was activated and located the missing six-metre half cabin aluminium vessel at around 12.45am, approximately 10 nautical miles from Yarrabah.

    The vessel was towed by the coast guard to the Yorkeys Knob Boat ramp where it was met by police.

    Cairns Water police Sergeant Andrew Ibell says boat owners must be mindful of their responsibilities.

    “Vessel operators should ensure that they have sufficient fuel for the expected journey to be
    undertaken plus a reserve amount,” Sergeant Ibell says.

    “The carriage and appropriate use of safety equipment assists search and rescue authorities to locate you in an emergency.”

    The Cairns Water police will now undertake investigations into breaches of the Marine Safety Act.

    Barron River boat fire

    Smithfield police were called to a non-suspicious boat fire at the mouth of the Barron River at around 8.20pm last night.


    Police believe that the boat owner, a 70-year-old Macleay Island man, was cooking on board his fibreglass catamaran when the cooking fire became out of control and quickly took hold destroying the boat.


    The owner and a 53-year- old man also on board the boat escaped uninjured.


    Police forensic investigators will attend the location this morning to assess any remains of the vessel.