Brunswick Bar claims new victim

A sign on the rockwall at the entrance to the Brunswick Heads bar warns boat owners of possible dangerous conditions ahead.
A sign on the rockwall at the entrance to the Brunswick Heads bar warns boat owners of possible dangerous conditions ahead. Jerad Williams

A SMALL fishing vessel with two men onboard crashed on to rocks at Brunswick Heads on the weekend, the second incident to occur on the treacherous Brunswick bar in less than a month.

The incident happened about 6.35am on Saturday as the men's five-metre white fibreglass vessel was hit by waves and capsized while attempting to cross the bar.

The boat then smashed on to the north side of the Brunswick wall at Seagull Rocks.

The two Murwillumbah men onboard, aged 34 and 40, were both wearing lifejackets and managed to swim to the rocks and scramble to safety with only minor abrasions, said David Gilmore, duty officer at Marine Rescue Brunswick.

“They were very shaken up from the experience,” Mr Gilmore said.

“The bar conditions were very nasty on Saturday morning. There was a two-metre swell and waves were breaking across the bar itself.

“The ebb tide was running out and these two men trying to cross were very unlucky.

“They were both wearing lifejackets and I believe that saved their lives.”

A rescue boat from the Brunswick SLSC was deployed to the scene and the two men were brought to shore, but did not require an ambulance.

Mr Gilmore said a number of other boats had managed to cross the bar that morning, but had a hard time doing so.

“It can be an unsafe bar,” he said.

“It's always best to cross on an incoming tide.”

It was the second time in a month a small recreational fishing vessel has run into trouble at Brunswick trying to cross the bar in dangerous conditions.

Three weeks ago a 41-year-old Mullumbimby Creek man and his two sons, aged 14 and 11 years, were forced to swim for their lives after a wave capsized their 4.8-metre vessel.

Owen Danvers, of Marine Rescue Brunswick, gave this advice to boaties: “If you're not comfortable with the conditions, don't go.”

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