Freak wave holed launch
A Minnie Waters fisherman was about to dive into shark-infested waters some distance offshore in an attempt to swim to safety from his sinking craft yesterday morning when he was rescued by a resident who had seen his distress signals from shore.
The fisherman, Daniel Cummins, aged 60, of Minnie Waters suffered little ill-effect from his experience.
Cummins went out in his 14 feet motor powered craft yesterday morning bound for his usual fishing ground some miles off shore.
He said he was about two miles out when a large freak wave tossed his boat up in the air like a cork, the sudden wrench splintering several planks, and causing a fair-sized hole to be battered in one plank.
The incoming water swamped the engine, and put it out of commission. The craft began to sink slowly despite his efforts to keep it afloat.
He managed to tie his shirt to the mast as a distress signal. He then continued to bail and hope that the signal would be seen from the shore.
Mr. and Mrs. F. Fuller, whose residence overlooks the sea, were having breakfast when Mrs. Fuller noticed Cummins' boat had stopped just on the horizon.
She drew her husband's attention to the fact and then noticed the distress signal.
Mr. Fuller immediately ran to his motor truck and hurried down to the bay.
There he divested himself of his clothing, dived in and swam to his boat which was moored out in the bay. Then he started out to Cummins.
On reaching Cummins he found the boat half filled with water and Cummins in an exhausted state from continuous bailing in his endeavours to keep the launch afloat.
Mr. Fuller threw Cummins a line. While Cummins stayed on his own boat and continued to bail, Fuller made a hurried trip back to shore.
He had just got inside the reef in shallow water when Cummins' boat sank.
It was later recovered and dragged up on to the beach.
It was found to be badly damaged, several planks being stove in and a large hole smashed in one plank.
Mr. Cummins later told a “Daily Examiner” correspondent that he owed his life to the prompt action of Fuller in coming to his assistance.
He said that he was just about to abandon the craft and try to swim through the shark-infested waters to shore and safety when Fuller arrived in his boat and took him in tow.