A Navy-crewed patrol boat has rescued nine Papua New Guinean fisherman after their vessel was found in the Torres Strait, having drifted without fuel or food for six days.
The Australian Defence Vessel Cape Fourcroy was tasked to respond to the incident when a Maritime Border Command helicopter spotted the seven metre Banana Boat adrift on the Warrior Reef.
Commander Maritime Border Command, Rear Admiral Peter Laver, praised the work of the Cape Fourcroy crew on board.
“While our focus in the Torres Strait is protecting Australia’s waters from maritime security threats, the presence of the dedicated crews of our Maritime Border Command vessels means we are never far away when emergencies like these occur,” Rear Admiral Laver said.
“The waters of the Torres Strait can be treacherous and these men are very lucky that Maritime Border Command located and intercepted them when we did.”
Despite their ordeal the men were uninjured. The Cape Fourcroy crew resupplied the vessel with food, water and fuel and they were able to proceed back to Papua New Guinea under their own steam.
Maritime Border Command is a multi-agency taskforce within the Australian Border Force which maintains a constant presence in the waters off northern Australia, including the Torres Strait.
Maritime Border Command uses a range of aerial and maritime surveillance and response assets from the Australian Border Force and Australian Defence Force.