Lost at sea survivor felt like "live bait"

Ross Chapman on his boat. He is lucky to be alive.
Ross Chapman on his boat. He is lucky to be alive. 60 Minutes

MIRACLE lost-at-sea survivor Ross Chapman has described feeling like a "huge live bait" as he clung desperately to a fishing line behind his unmanned boat 40km off the WA coast.

The 30-year-old fisherman was rescued after six hours treading water in shark-infested seas off Exmouth on January 3.

Mr Chapman was fishing alone on his 4.8m boat Poppa George about 8.30am. After catching and releasing a 250kg blue marlin, he knocked his GoPro camera into the water and, when he reached down to grab it, he fell in.

The boat was in gear and moved quickly away from him, so he grabbed hold of a fishing line. However, after pulling himself to within 1.5m of the vessel, the line snapped.

"I went to grab the GoPro and I knocked it off the back of the boat. It went bounce, bounce and I just like kind of lurched over the back to try and grab it just before it went over and then, yeah, I've just ended up straight in the water," he says in a harrowing 60 Minutes interview tonight. He said he felt like shark bait dangling on the end of his fishing line.

"That was quite scary you know, 'cause I was getting towed along and I was looking out the back behind me. I was pretty much just a huge live bait and it wasn't good," he said.

Unknown to him, a big rescue operation was already well under way by 1.30pm.

Help finally arrived in the form of Mr Chapman's good friend Brendon Hawker, who had come to join the search.

"It was awesome. Like it was just like 'Oh my God, I'm actually safe, I've been rescued'. It was pretty much a miracle really," Mr Chapman said.

He has vowed never to go fishing alone again.

60 Minutes, tonight at 8.30pm

Topics:  60 minutes editors picks lost at sea overboard sharks

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Mental health survey for our entertainers

SURVEY: Entertainment Assist is conducting research into mental health among people working in the industry.

Findings will be used to develop a prevention framework

Confirmed: Matt Damon is NOT moving to Byron Bay

HOLLYWOOD COUPLE: Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

But the town gained an unexpected US marketing campaign

Country Club becomes the centre of power

GENERATION: Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin, presenting the funding to the Club - General Manager Andrew Spice, Golf Director Ian Wingad, Chairman Peter Tomaros, Treasurer Anne Slater, and Director Tony Dahl.

Grant to Shore emergency centre

Local Partners