Man swims back to shore after falling overboard in Rockingham Harbour, near Point Peron

Caleb Runciman and Harriet FlinnThe West Australian
VideoCrayfisherman falls overboard near Rockingham

The wife of a crayfisherman who was thrown from his boat recounted how the skipper went into “survival mode” after authorities descended on Rockingham Harbour trying to find him.

About 2.55pm, police were alerted to a possible sea rescue mission in Rockingham Harbour after the crayfisherman was launched from the boat.

Leon, the boat’s skipper, managed to swim himself to shore, leaving his crew member — who was unable to drive a boat — in the harbour.

Leon’s wife, Jakki Trenerry, said she couldn’t contact her husband before he emerged at Point Peron boat ramp after his ocean escapade.

Jakki Trennery thanked the rescue team.
Camera IconJakki Trennery thanked the rescue team. Credit: Caleb Runciman/The West Australian

“What happened is the rope caught around the prop, he’s untangled it, but ended up in the water and then he’s swam back here and let the water police know what was going on,” Mrs Trenerry said.

“At the same time, his mate, who was still on the boat, has called it in because he didn’t know where Leon had gone.

“Then another boat that had actually come to help had broken down so they had call in as well.”

Crews from Water Police and Marine Rescue were deployed to the area to locate the missing fisherman who got himself back to shore.

“About 3.55pm, the man was safely located back at the boat ramp - after he swam back to shore,” a police spokesman said.

After managing to hold onto the boat after being launched into the water, Leon sustained “cuts” “all over him” after hitting rocks during the incident.

“The next thing you know (there was) police ambulances, the emergency services were on it before I knew what was going on,” Mrs Trenerry said.

“He was a cray fisherman for 25 years so he’s been overboard numerous times — he just goes into survival mode.

“We were worried that if (the other passenger) was in the water for an extended period of time that might not be so great.

“Thank you largely to the emergency services, I can’t believe how fast they were.”

The other cray fisherman made it to shore safely and both are home safe.

Leon and his fishing partner didn’t manage to pull any crayfish from the water on the disastrous trip.

“We are not worried about (the boat), it’s the lives that matter. . . the boat is replaceable,” Ms Trennery said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails