All at sea
By ROXANNE MILLAR
WHEN emergency services respond to a call for help, they take it very seriously.
Unfortunately, three Brisbane spearfishermen who sparked a massive air-sea rescue yesterday failed to have the same approach.
The three men were spearfishing about one kilometre off Kingscliff when a wave overturned their boat a short time after 9.30am.
A massive rescue involving helicopters and rescue boats was mounted for the ungrateful men, who once on dry land proceeded to clown around.
Spearfisherman Tim Forster told media he thought it was a large tiger shark or jewfish that caused the boat to overturn.
"I think I saw a mermaid as well," he said.
"I hope that now we aren't done for drug smuggling or anything else as well, but I dunno, we ate (the drugs)."
It was a cheeky response to a dramatic situation.
Rescuers said when the men were washed overboard, all of their safety gear went with them except for a few flares.
Their boat's outboard motor was waterlogged.
They were left clinging to their boat without lifejackets until the pilot of a light plane chanced upon them bobbing about in the ocean and raised the alarm.
The pilot activated a rescue that included the Volunteer Marine Rescues at Point Danger and Kingscliff, two helicopters, police and ambulance.
One rescue helicopter dropped a crew member into the water to check on the wellbeing of the trio during the rescue.
But they never displayed gratitude for the free service by volunteers.
"All I was worried about was that I needed to get back to work on time," said Mr Forster.