Two men on a 52-foot cruiser which had started taking water in the dark off Kingscliff last night were rescued by a volunteer crew from Point Danger Marine Rescue.
The vessel started taking water in rough, dark conditions 14 nautical miles (26km) offshore south of Tweed Heads last night.
The crew on board Point Danger 30 located the vessel with the two men on board off Kingscliff and escorted it safely back to port at Tweed Heads, arriving just after 7.30pm.
The skipper and passenger were reported to be on their first voyage on the vessel, travelling north from Coffs Harbour, where they had taken delivery of the boat.
The skipper, rescuers said, radioed the Volunteer Marine Rescue seaway tower at Southport to report the vessel was taking water through a suspected crack in its fibreglass hull and making slow headway north at five knots in a north west swell and 20 knot winds off Pottsville.
The call for help was relayed to Point Danger on the NSW side of the border and the rescue boat was deployed, with crew members Rick Snow, Chris Quinn, Gil Thomas and Chris Ingall on board, locating the cruiser off Kingscliff.
Marine Rescue NSW northern rivers regional controller Stephen Reading said while the cruiser’s pumps had been keeping up with the water entering the vessel, the electrical systems had been damaged, with no lights working on board.
‘Without any lights or local knowledge, the two men on board were glad to have the assistance of Point Danger 30 to guide them around Danger Reefs, east of Cook Island, before turning for Tweed Heads,’ Mr Reading said.
‘Our crew escorted the cruiser safely over the Tweed bar and upstream to the Ivory Marina.’
Mr Reading praised the Marine Rescue Point Danger radio operators and crew on a successful mission in challenging conditions.
‘Without lights, the vessel was difficult to locate and to guide safely around the reefs and other hazards along the coastline,’ he said.
‘The skill, experience and local knowledge of our crew members enabled them to ensure that both vessels and everyone on board returned safely to shore.’
Mr Reading encouraged boaters travelling along the coastline to log on with Marine Rescue NSW and lodge a voyage plan to make regular scheduled radio reports with units along their route.
A map showing the location of MRNSW units can be found on www.marinerescuensw.com.au