Boaties were thrilled to see rescuers after being stranded
A WOMAN rescued after hours stranded at sea has praised her saviours as exceptional and amazing.
Lyn Forbes-Smith was one of five people rescued after their boat broke anchor on Monday following a trip from Keswick Island to Silloth Rocks about 30 nautical miles east of Mackay, near Brampton Island.
"We're feeling very fortunate. We are very, very lucky," she said.
"We've just been blown away by the capability and service of VMR and air sea rescue.
Ms Forbes-Smith said they were taken by surprise when their boat drifted away from their anchor point.
"By the time Craig, who is one of the co-owners, had run back over the sandbar and threw himself into the water to swim out and get the boat, the elements had really come up," she said.
"Craig was halfway between the shore and the boat… and he had to make a decision about which way to go and it was absolutely the best decision."
After the group realised it was not able to get back on the boat, Ms Forbes-Smith said they wrote "SOS" in the sand before moving to higher ground. She said remained positive despite a passing boat not noticing them.
"We were delighted to see a bit of helicopter activity after the boat had been located and we saw the (helicopter) near Brampton Island and we thought, 'That's got to be looking for us' and it was. It was fantastic to see," she said.
"We had shorts off and were using everything we could to get attention."
Whitsunday Water Police officer-in-charge Sergeant Graeme Pettigrew said the group had let people know where it was going and this had helped with the rescue.
"This is probably a good reminder that if you let someone know exactly where you're going there's a good chance you'll be found and found early," he said.