A seven-year-old boy is fighting for life and two men are in hospital after their boat capsized on Saturday, leaving them in the water for six hours in the middle of the night.
The trio were about 14km off the coast of Caloundra, the southernmost town in the Sunshine Coast Region, when their fishing boat began sinking at 2am on Sunday.
Water police raced to sea to find the them after receiving a distress call from an area near Caloundra Nine Mile, coming from the 5.2 metre vessel.
Julian Honan, seven, was winched from the water and flown to Sunshine Coast University Hospital where he was placed in an induced coma on Sunday afternoon.
Julian Honan, 7, is fighting for life and two men are in hospital after their boat capsized on Saturday, leaving the trio in the water for six hours in the middle of the night
His father Mikey Honan, 39, was taken to hospital at around 8am on Sunday, while his friend Steven Jaycock, 48, was seen shaking from hypothermia in a stretcher as he was put in an ambulance.
The two men took turns to hold Julian above water, while finding anything they could to cling on to to keep them from drowning, as it’s revealed none of them were wearing life jackets, 9 News reported.
Julian’s father Mikey Honan, 39, (top) was taken to hospital at around 8am on Sunday after spending nearly six hours in the water
Queensland Police said they received an initial distress call from those aboard the boat just after 1.30am, which stated the vessel was taking on water and sinking.
A coordinated search party, consisting of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane water police along with the Coast Guard, raced to the boat’s last known location, police said.
The trio had been spotted in water by an anchored off-shore tanker who notified authorities of their whereabouts.
The young boy’s father Mikey Honan, 39, and his friend Steven Jaycock, 48, were taken to hospital at around 8am on Sunday after arriving back on land
It’s reported the two men took turns to hold Julian above water, while finding anything they could to cling on to to keep them from drowning, as it’s revealed none of them were wearing life jackets
Ian Hunt from Rotary Rescue told ABC News he was thankful everyone on board the boat, including Julian, had been rescued.
‘[When] you have kids of your own, you always feel for the situation, so it’s really gratifying to know that they were found and that we played some part in finding them,’ Mr Hunt said.
Coastguard Caloundra volunteer deputy commander Kevin Wager confirmed to the Sunshine Coast Daily nine boats in total had contributed to the six-hour search.
‘The three hadn’t drifted very far we think, but it is quite difficult to pick people up in the water, the conditions were really choppy,’ Mr Wager said.
The deputy commander said they were able to locate the missing trio after they found some debris, which indicated they were close.
‘The water temperature was about 21C, so not freezing but it would not have been good for a child. Thankfully it had a good outcome,’ he said.
The ute (pictured) allegedly belonging to the men and boy whose boat capsized
The child was winched into a Rescue 500 helicopter and airlifted to Sunshine Coast University Hospital, while the two men were brought back to land by marine rescue