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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Windows on ship wheelhouse have been smashed by large waves
​PV Houtman badly damaged after large waves battered the vessel in calm waters  around the Abrolhos Islands
Thursday 11 May 2017

Call for care after big wave incident

Boat skippers and fishers are reminded to remain vigilant of sea conditions after a series of large waves seriously damaged one of our vessels, which was undertaking rock lobster gear inspections around the Abrolhos Islands over the weekend.

The patrol vessel, PV Houtman, encountered a serious incident when it was struck by three large waves on Saturday afternoon while working in otherwise calm water south of West Wallabi Island.

Estimates place the waves height at between six to seven metres before they crashed on top of the boat.

Despite its sturdy construction, the vessel was heavily damaged with its three crew suffering glass lacerations and impact injuries. The crew were treated at a medical facility on Rat Island and will make a full recovery. 

The incident serves as a reminder for all skippers and boat users to ensure they maintain a constant watch on sea conditions as they have a demonstrated ability to change quickly and dramatically.

Despite the damage, the well trained crew were able to quickly stabilise the vessel and safely motor back to Rat Island.

We would like to extend a big thank you to all those who assisted with the vessel repairs and to the Silver Chain island nurse who administered medical attention to the crew.​

Last modified: 11/05/2017 4:45 PM

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