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Family escapes from sinking houseboat

Marine Rescue NSW housboat

A family trapped in a sinking houseboat in Australia after a storm sent up a flare to alert rescuers.

Seven family members were holidaying on the houseboat on the Clarence River at Iluka when it started sinking after a hailstorm and high winds. A man smashed a window so everyone could escape.

Marine Rescue NSW regional operations manager John Murray said the Iluka Yamba crew were called to the incident after a distress flare was fired and seen by a member of the public.

"Seven people were on the houseboat at the time. Other people were able to come to their aid before we arrived at the scene ... it was very fortunate."

The houseboat was anchored. A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said five patients were taken to Maclean Base Hospital suffering cuts and a man was taken to Lismore Base Hospital with a possible fractured wrist and injuries to his hand and abdomen.

Jan 08, 2018