Boater death off Carnarvon as vessel sinks during rough conditions

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A 54-year-old man has died off Bernier Island.
Camera IconA 54-year-old man has died off Bernier Island. Credit: Supplied

A 54-year-old Busselton man drowned in a boating accident off Carnarvon at the weekend as his boat took on water during rough conditions.

A search and rescue operation was launched about 6.30am on Sunday after the man, the solo operator of the vessel, activated his EPIRB near Bernier Island — more than 50km off Carnarvon.

A WA Police spokeswoman said police, Marine Rescue Carnarvon volunteers and aircraft from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority were involved in the search through the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

“The vessel was located partially sunken and a deceased man was sadly located nearby in the water,” she said.

The man’s body was recovered by rescue craft and police say a report would be prepared for the coroner investigating the circumstances around his death.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology a strong wind warning was in place for the Gascoyne Coast on Sunday with wind speeds reaching up to 55km per hour.

The spokeswoman said the man’s family had been notified of the death but, “to respect the privacy of the family... we will not be releasing the name.”

In April, two men and a woman had to abandon their wrecked catamaran and spend the night sleeping on Bernier Island after the vessel’s drive shaft malfunctioned.

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