AMSA assists in successful search for kite surfers

Wednesday 28 October 2015
A pair of kite surfers reported overdue off the West Australia coast last night were located safe with the assistance of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Media Release

The Western Australia Police requested AMSA’s assistance about 11 pm AEDT after two kite surfers were reported overdue by family members. The two men were kite surfing in the Coral Bay area of Ningaloo Reef.

AMSA tasked its dedicated search and rescue Dornier aircraft from Perth to respond, which used its night vision capabilities to search for the kite surfers.

One of the men was located by a ground party on a beach dirt track near Gnaraloo Bay, about 55 kilometres south of Coral Bay.

AMSA’s Dornier aircraft located the second man shortly after on a beach trail about three kilometres south.

The second man had a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), which he activated about 1 am AEDT. This assisted the Dornier aircraft to locate him and the crew of the Dornier were able to guide a ground party to the man’s location.

Both men were reported safe and well.

AMSA’s Acting General Manager Search and Rescue, Julian Mitchell, said this was a good example of why it’s important to tell family and friends where you’re headed and when you expect to return.

“When the two men had not returned home at the expected time, the alarm was raised by family members who were able to tell authorities where to start searching,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Given the remoteness of the area and the lack of daylight, this rescue also highlights the importance of having a distress beacon.

“The distress beacon led us to the exact location of one of the men, possibly reducing the search time by hours,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said this incident involved search and rescue agencies working together with communication between AMSA’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra and Western Australian Police.