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Starfish control boat rescues Australian fishermen

Venus II

A boat used for controlling nuisance starfish helped rescue two fishermen whose vessel had overturned near Mission Bay, Cairns, Australia. Flares were used to pinpoint their position.

The MV Venus II is deployed to control Crown-of-Thorns starfish outbreaks in Great Barrier Reef marine park waters and is operated by the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO).

The 6.2-metre fishing boat had set out from Mission Beach one night in March, before running into trouble at Otter Reef.

The MV Venus II found the men sitting on their capsized boat, reports the Tropic Now website. Skipper Brendon Robinson believes a fishing line got caught in the propeller and the boat became unstable and overturned.

AMPTO executive director Col McKenzie says the two men were fortunate the MV Venus II was in the area, which was a dead spot for radio signals.

A Townsville rescue helicopter located the drifting fishermen and dropped a flare to guide the Venus II to their location.

The men were pulled on to the rescue vessel, where they were monitored for shock, warmed, dried and fed. They were cold and shaken, but otherwise unhurt.

The Venus II, which supports 10 divers, was in the waters between Townsville and Cairns as part of a regular ten-day mission aimed at eradicating the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.

The image is from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Apr 06, 2017