Two men are lucky to be alive after their boat was washed onto rocks at North Head in Manly on Sunday afternoon, 7 August.
Blake Horton, owner of Ocean Extreme, told Manly Observer his charter was returning to port with passengers after a whale watching tour was waylaid when the distressed pair was spotted.
He said he was alerted to a flare in the water by a passenger when he saw the two men and their boat near a notoriously dangerous area at North Head.
“We were coming back from a second trip and we were late because the whales were giving us the runaround and we were coming into the heads and some of my passengers started yelling out,” Mr Horton said.
“I looked over and there was a red flare in the water and we raced over there and two guys were in the water. Their boat was on the rocks and was completely flooded. We had to figure out how to get them out as where they were was a dodgy spot because it’s where the waves break against the rocks.”
Mr Horton said with a boat full of passengers, it was too risky to get too close to where the men were stuck so he radioed Sydney Port Authority to request assistance, however in sheer desperation the men managed to swim out to where the boat could pick them up safely.
“One of the guys managed to swim past the breaking waves and we could get in there and get him out. I picked that guy up and the other managed to swim sideways out of the way of the waves and we could get him out as well. They were pretty exhausted but ok,” he said.
“We were late coming back as we took a detour to see a breaching whale so it was lucky for those guys ‘coz we would normally be gone by the time they let the flare off.”
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson told Manly Observer that both men were assessed by paramedics on scene at Manly Wharf after they were returned to shore but neither suffered significant injury.
One man was taken to Northern Beaches Hospital for further observation.