NEWS

Two Men Rescued After Debbie Stranded Them At Sea

Their boat ran aground on rocks near Whitsunday Island on Tuesday.

29/03/2017 9:58 AM AEDT | Updated 29/03/2017 11:05 AM AEDT
Queensland Police Unit
The boat ran aground near Whitsunday Island.

Two men stranded in a boat overnight during the height of Cyclone Debbie have been rescued, Queensland Police have confirmed.

Emergency services were able to locate the boat early on Wednesday morning, but the wild seas in the wake of the Category Four weather system hampered rescue efforts.

The 30-metre steel hull boat ran aground on rocks during the height of Cyclone Debbie, as the Whitsundays were battered by wind gusts of up to 260km/h.

The two men were apparently unable to alert emergency services, but managed to email relatives in New South Wales on Tuesday night, who alerted police to their situation.

Police announced the successful rescue at around 10:30am Wednesday morning, saying water police were able to make contact with the men, ensuring they were safe and well.

They then succeeded in getting a rigid-hulled inflatable boat to the stricken vessel and the men then lowered themselves into the boat.

They have now been taken to Shute Harbour by police.

"I think the public and the community of Queensland need to understand that we are going to get lots of reports of damage and, sadly, I think that we will also receive more reports of injuries, if not death," Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said early on Wednesday morning.

At least two people have been reported as injured in the cyclone so far, with the Brisbane Times reporting a man in Proserpine was badly hurt when a wall collapsed on him. Another person suffered a broken arm, ABC News 24 reports.

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