Richmond workers rescue amputee whose boat overturned near Berowra

Catch of the day: Fishing mates Matt Dunn and Michael Zammit in Richmond. Picture: Geoff Jones.Two workers have saved an amputeeafter he was thrown from his fishing boat and spent hours floundering in waters north of Sydney.

Owner of Richmond’s iconic Big Red Hen takeaway, Michael Zammit, and his mate Matt Dunn, who manages The Butcher Shop, had been enjoying a rare day off fishing on Wednesday, December 5, when they discovered the one-legged man in the water clinging to his boat.

“We were fishing at Berowra Waters,” Mr Zammit explained.

“[We] went to our [usual]fishing spot and it gota bit quiet, so I said ‘let’s go for a drive to see if we can find a fishing spot’. We went a far whack up the river and then … said we would head back home.

“But we noticed this guy that had one hand out of the water and his boat on an angle.

Michael Zammit

“He was in the water completely, he was holding onto the boat and his prosthetic leg was floating in the boat. He couldn’t get up on the boat if he wanted to, and what we were worried about was the boat was going down. He had been there for several hours.

“He was just floating there, at least 10 boats drove past him.He was waving and they just waved back at him.

“It was so far down part of a little estuary, it was very hard to see him.

“We got there just in time.”

The two mates managed to lift the man into Mr Zammit’s boat, Mr Zammit himself then swapping to bail water out of the ailing craft and drive it carefully back to the Berowra Waters boat ramp –a journey he estimated took at least 40 minutes.

“We were a fair way out,” he said.

“I jumped in his boat that was sinking and I just started unloading all the water, it took me ages.

“We saved his boat, so he was happy about that.

“I was driving really slow so the water [went] from the front of the boat to the back of the boat. I was driving it and bailing water at the same time.”

The man had been knocked out of the boat by a wave, and it wasn’t just drowning that he had to be mindful of, Mr Zammit said.

“He went to accelerate and a wave came at the same time. He wasn’t watching and it threw him off the boat,” he said.

“He should have been very worried about sharks. I said, ‘didn’t you worry about the sharks’, and he said, ‘mate I didn’t want to think about it’.”

And as it turned out, Mr Zammit might have just caught himself a new fishing buddy.

“He is from the street next to mine …less than 200 metres away,” Mr Zammit said.

“Now he wants to be a fishing buddy. I said, no worries.

“His wife doesn’t like him going by himself because he’s only got one leg, so I said give me a call and we’ll come out. He is going to take me out in his boat.

“But I’ll drive.”

Hawkesbury Gazette

Comments are closed.