Man in boat accident at Mobbs Bay
TWO Tweed Heads men are lucky to be alive after they were hit by a boat propeller in a ‘freak accident’ at Mobbs Bay at South Ballina.
The accident happened on Wednesday afternoon when the 3.6m aluminium runabout, which was towing a third man on an inflatable tube, turned sharply.
Police said the rope snapped, throwing the two men into the water.
The motor then went into full power and the boat continued along with no-one in control.
Both men were run over and hit by the propeller.
The boat eventually crashed into an embankment and stopped.
Steve McKenna, another man from Tweed in the area on holidays, saw the accident as it unfolded.
“I didn’t realise how serious it was until I saw this guy from a houseboat reef one of the lads out of the water.
“Everything was red, he was covered in blood. Then he grabbed the other guy and yelled to the third guy to keep on swimming until he got there,” he said.
“It was a very scary moment. I reckon the guy from the houseboat deserves recognition because he definitely saved the first lad’s life and maybe the second on as well.”
The men were take to taken to the Ballina Sailing Club boat ramp, where they were met by an ambulance.
A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said a 38-year-old man was in a serious condition with severe shoulder and leg injuries. He was transferred to Lismore Base Hospital for surgery.
A second man, 36, was taken to Ballina Hospital to have stitches for a cut on his head. It is also understood he was suffering from concussion.
One of the men’s wives yesterday said they were “too stressed” to talk about their ordeal.
“We’ve been trying to get them to rest,” she said. “The boys are really shaken up. They are feeling pretty lucky to be alive at the moment.”
Ballina Jet Boat Rescue captain, Gary Meredith, said the situation was under control by the time his crew were called to the scene.
“It was a bit of a freak accident,” he said.
“There was the concern that the boat was out of control and that other people were still in the water at Mobbs Bay.
“They are lucky to be alive. The whole situation could have been much worse.”
Police said they were continuing to investigate the incident.