Cool box used as liferaft as boat sinks

Angler Garry Fleming was one of three fishermen who survived 12 hours adrift at sea by turning his cool box into a makeshift life raft after his boat sank.

By using the lid as a ‘sail’ the three paddled the fridge six miles back to shore after their 7m aluminuim twin-engined motor boat sank without warning.

“For some reason I’d put two bottles of water inside as well, I never do that, but we had water to drink,” said Garry.

Garry’s boat, the Sea-bitch, went down off Townsville, Queensland, Australia in seconds, taking with it flares, an EPIRB and GPS equipment. ‘I only had time to turn around and she was going down,’ Garry said, ‘I reckon the hull must have split. Within 30 seconds we were in the water. One of the fellas just had time to jump in the cabin and grab the life-jackets.’