View Full Version : Seaway rollover today - Thursday Dec 30

31-12-2004, 01:34 PM
Just came back from the Seaway - a boat rolled on the bar at about 3pm this afternoon.
I believe it was Monroe from the Gold Coast Game Club - if so it would be his smallish Blackwatch hull.
Four on board - 2 picked up by jet skis and two guided by the Westpac chopper swam to the Police launch nearby.
Conditions are horrendous - white water as far as you can see.

There was a near drowning in surf and a commercial trawler and tinny collided in the conditions as well.

Dave ><>

31-12-2004, 01:41 PM
:o :o

31-12-2004, 02:22 PM
must be nasty, last full moon i nearly rolled my old girl cummin inthu pin bar too much water goin out after tide change i rode the back of abig fella then it just disapeared benef me, then it reappered rigt up me bum, the bugger broched me istill dont know how we go thru musta been the old hainsy, good old girl :-X :-X

31-12-2004, 04:36 PM
just got off the phone to a mate... as far as we know it was munroes boat and one of our ausfish members "smithy" was on board. wouldnt wish that on any one :(
26 foot blackwatch.

31-12-2004, 04:39 PM
yer I too just got off the phone to find out there were 2 ausfish members on board wichdoctor was the other and we were supposed to be going to hutchies 2morrow but fair enough for pulling the pin i guess I hope everyone is ok

31-12-2004, 04:45 PM
I hope all are OK, I dont know them , but know of those people. I have not seen the ocean but must be bad.
Regards Tony Payne.

31-12-2004, 04:55 PM
I know there were other boats that saw the seaway this morning and called it off ....

damn , can't ask that of your worst enemy !!!'

just lucky they all got out of the water ok.

31-12-2004, 04:57 PM
Smithy is still in hospital under observation, but word is he should be fine. He was driving at the downstairs helm and copped the worst. Munroe said it happened in a split second right in the middle of the Seaway as a wave took them from the side.

Wouldnt wish this upon anyone.


31-12-2004, 05:17 PM
Terrible news indeed!

Good to hear that everyone got out okay. Hopefully the boat can be safely salvaged.


31-12-2004, 06:26 PM
Right at the height of the run out with more than a bit of swell.... YUK!!

Glad everyone is ok.

Will make interesting reading when the boys feel up to it to comment on their ordeal.

31-12-2004, 09:56 PM
:o :o :o

When something like this happens to such an experienced crew in a good seaworthy boat, it makes you realise how unpredictable the sea really can be and how things can happen in a split second.

Glad to hear everyone is OK.


01-01-2005, 01:31 AM
From the GC BULLETIN today................

Fishos in sea as boat flipped

FOUR fishermen were trapped under their boat after it flipped in rough seas off the Gold Coast Seaway at Southport yesterday.

The men managed to free themselves after a few terrifying seconds and clung to the upturned hull of the 26-foot Black Watch for about 15 minutes as they waited for help to arrive.

Monroe Howser, the boat's owner, said the group had been inside when the vessel flipped, trapping them for about 30 seconds.

"We all took a big breath of air and found our way out," he said. "I was pretty far away from the boat and I had to swim towards it in the waves.

"I was in a big spray jacket and pants and had to take them off. They were weighing me down."

Mr Howser said he choked on water as he swam towards the upturned boat, where his mate, Rob Smith, then pulled him aboard.

Two jet-skiers picked up the pair and water police collected their friends Shawn Ryan and Bruce Morgenstern.

"Smith was the first guy to save my life and the jet-skiers the second," he said.

Two of the men were taken to hospital for minor injuries and the upturned boat was last seen floating north.

... catch up!

01-01-2005, 01:36 AM
Courier Mail Report

Wind-torn seas spark dramatic rescues
Greg Stolz, Gold Coast bureau chief

A MAN was critically injured in a bodysurfing accident, four fishermen were thrown from their boat and a father was taken to hospital after trying to rescue his son from rough seas in a day of drama off Gold Coast beaches yesterday.

Near millpond conditions for most of the Christmas-new year week proved to be the calm before the storm for marine rescuers as strong southerly winds yesterday whipped up a treacherous swell.

Two bodysurfers collided at Burleigh Heads. Lifeguard superintendent Peter Miller said a Brisbane man, in his 50s, and a boy about 13, hit each other and the man stopped breathing.

"It must have been a hell of a head clash because we had to use a defibrillator and oxygen to get him breathing again," Mr Miller said. "We had to do a lot of work on him and it looked pretty bleak at one stage. You hear about surfboards hitting people in the surf but this was a freak incident."

The man was on life-support equipment in Gold Coast Hospital. The boy was treated for a spinal injury.

Off Southport Spit, Woodridge man Paul Clark was plucked exhausted from the water by lifeguards after the current swept him and his son Jesse, 10, hundreds of metres out of the flagged area.

"One minute they were having a good time between the flags and the next they just got taken down the beach," friend Richard Freeman said.

Jesse made it to the beach but Mr Clark had to be rescued, treated with oxygen and taken to hospital.

About a kilometre away, Gold Coast Game Fishing Club secretary Monroe Howser and friends Bruce Morgenstern, Shawn Ryan and Robert Smith were thrown from Mr Howser's 8m boat as it entered the Southport Seaway.

"We were in the wrong place in the wrong time and the wrong wave hit us," said Mr Howser, who injured his ankle and lost up to $80,000 worth of gear.

The four clung to the hull until they were rescued.

01-01-2005, 02:17 AM
Sheeessshhhh #:o :o
Those guys are 'experienced' and 'sensible' # :-/[smiley=scholar.gif]
in a 'big' boat, and shit "can" happen ,with in this case a good ending #:)

Makes me wonder ,as to what would have happened IF they had PFD's on, in an upturned boat #???
(i.e. compulsory wearing of PFD's is an issue in Vic. at the mo')

01-01-2005, 02:54 AM
Just wondering...............if the boys were wearing life jackets (assuming they were not)......would it have made it difficult to swim out from under an over turned hull ?

Bloody scarey, glad all are well, boats can be replaced


01-01-2005, 06:00 AM
Just wondering...............if the boys were wearing life jackets (assuming they were not)......would it have made it difficult to swim out from under an over turned hull ?...

Lifejackets on under an upturned boat make it almost impossible to push down and get out, try it sometime ;) or better still the next time some politician starts with the mandatory lifejacket thing get them to show you how :-X

Cheers, Kerry.

01-01-2005, 06:12 AM
Too right. The mandatory life jacket thing scares the sh!t out of me.

Hope the guys are all ok and look forward to the first hand details when they are up to it.

01-01-2005, 06:46 AM
Wish the boys the a speedy recovery over the ordeal!

and hope they get back in the saddle soon.

01-01-2005, 11:54 AM
Lifejackets on under an upturned boat make it almost impossible to push down and get out, try it sometime #;) or better still the next time some politician starts with the mandatory lifejacket thing get them to show you how #:-X

Cheers, Kerry.

I use the Tweed Bar and in N.S.W it is manditory to wear a Life jacket while entering or leaving a bar. :-/
The life jacket I choose for this was a manual (gas cartridge) self inflatable for the vary reason of maybe having to get out of an upturned boat.
It's a good option to consider when choosing a Life jacket

01-01-2005, 12:07 PM
All the best to those involved. Hearing something like this always leaves a lump in my throat, having been trapped in an upturned car with my wife and a couple of mates after being swept off a floodway by a 2m wall of water in flash flooding, I have a pretty good idea on what thoughts rush through your mind, and how powerfull water can be.
Not sure if it is luck or what that manages to get you through it, but whatever it is, it's welcome anytime. It's amazing who you start talking to during the ordeal.
The next hurdle is getting over the impulsivness that follows. Lean on your friends, accept help if offered, it took us ages to be able to wash our hair under the water again.

Our best thoughts are with you,


01-01-2005, 01:16 PM
Lying on Monroe's couch typing this out. PM if you want the full story. Have PMed a few already as no phone of course.

Papers got it pretty right with no sensationalisms.

On the lifejacket thing, all of us onboard agree that they may have given us real problems.

We have all got out of it with minor scrapes and bruises. Monroe has a slightly sprained ankle and Shawn is limping a bit today. I am badly bruised in the back and had a full ultrasound and ct scan to make sure I had no internal injuries near the liver. Got treated by Doctor David Green (Fishing World/QFM/Flathead Classic Maestro). Released at 9.00 last night.

Boat is on the beach on Straddy upside down. Going through all the insurance and Police stuff now.

Thanks for all the well wishes.

At this stage I have not taken anything away from the experience as no-one did anything wrong and it is one of those things that goes into the shit happens basket.

At least the Tsunami stuff has taken all the attention off us. There are plenty of people worse off than us.


01-01-2005, 01:39 PM
Speedy recovery to you and the guys Smithy.



01-01-2005, 02:01 PM
Put your feet up Smithy and have a rest ;) I'll come down and see you guys 2moro....On a lighter note, are you allowed a rum and coke??? Purely medicanal purposes only...Ross

01-01-2005, 02:21 PM
Boat rollovers while wearing a jacket in most cases means you are not likely to survive unless you can get into some trapped air inside.
Unless you can drag yourself out physicly while wearing it I cant imagine anyone getting out. If you have the loot, buy a Stormy Seas with a manual inflation, Willo has the right idea.
All the best to you blokes who took the dip, buy yourself a ticket in tonights lotto, I dont mind shairing it with you's ;D.

01-01-2005, 02:29 PM
Hi Rob,
Glad to hear you, Monroe, Witchdoctor & Bruce are ok. Boat was insured so that sorta covered. Main thing is you guys can walk/limp away with no permanent injuries.



01-01-2005, 02:52 PM
Fitzy might change my avatar to yours minus the crosshairs. LOL! Ouch.

01-01-2005, 03:15 PM
Fitzy might change my avatar to yours minus the crosshairs. #LOL! Ouch.
Fair call Rob.

Here ya go mate.

Fitz ;D

01-01-2005, 03:16 PM
Wow Smithy you guys were lucky I have just got back from Evans head and when I saw this my jaw dropped. How long did you guys spend in the water? In hindsight would you have tackled the bar any differently? How far were you past the wall when you got hit? Say hello to Monroe and the boys for me. Mate have great New Year.

01-01-2005, 04:26 PM
They are now calling the boat "Fair Dunkum". #LOL! Ouch again! #

We saw Scrumpy coming in, we thought he had more of an insight into the situation being in a flybridge with more visibility than us so we followed. #He had a dream run. #We didn't. #In fact if you talked to Robby Ashton he can tell you we were heading East when he would have first spyed us.

01-01-2005, 04:51 PM
giday rob
just heard the news,good to hear you & the the rest are ok.
here`s to a speedy recovery. lee

01-01-2005, 05:10 PM
Shawn (Witchdoctor) would like to thank everyone for their thoughts as well.

01-01-2005, 05:14 PM
OUCH !!!! :o
best wishes to you fellas
Glad everyone is alive!!!!

01-01-2005, 06:21 PM

Too right shit happens & mother nature just lets you know every now n then that you havn't got all bases covered.

You will have a few sleepless nights playing it all back in your mind.

The best thing you can do, is get back on the water as soon as you are up to it & get hooked up solid quick smart.

All the best to you boys & speady recovery.

01-01-2005, 07:06 PM
Heard the news but didn't realise ausfish guys involved. Glad to see all are well.
After reading what can happen to experienced guys like you, I realise why I stick to BP, Cressbrook etc.

02-01-2005, 08:12 AM
Good to hear you are ok mate all the best to a speedy recovery ;)

02-01-2005, 01:48 PM
commiserations to all involved. Great news that everyone is OK, but it will take ages to get back what you lost, even with the help of insurance.

I went over on Caloundra bar two years ago on new years eve, so I know what its like. I believe I learn't alot from the experience, particularly never to take the ocean lightly (not that you did).

Best wishes to all for getting your lives back on track asap.


02-01-2005, 02:03 PM
hope all is well. just heard the news from Bugman, yesterday.

Being out of the loop here on hols.

Cheers Phill

02-01-2005, 02:22 PM
Smithy,I just heard of the incident. Glad to here all are OK and hope you all recover as quickly as possible.
Could you pm me the full story.


02-01-2005, 03:18 PM
Was this a "towered" Blackwatch?

Some of the Blackwatch's, especially those with towers and some do have overly unsafe towers have in recent times had conditions (restrictions) put on them due (especially some of those in survey) the the tower height in relation to what some Blackwatch's actually puts in the water. # #

Cheers, Kerry.

02-01-2005, 04:00 PM
Factory Express. Tower base is the hardtop for the lower station.

02-01-2005, 06:01 PM
Get well soon guys, I use the Seaway all the time so its a reminder to me that if it can happen to you it can happen to me. I immediately thought it was someone without a clue who stuffed it up but you guys... sh..t!
Sorry to hear it and hope all injuries are non permanent.

02-01-2005, 09:17 PM
Glad to hear all are well. Rest up and get better.


02-01-2005, 11:29 PM
Monroe had not had that much to do with Ausfish.com, he hangs out more on the Marlin Bar, but he has been impressed by the Ausfish community and would like to thanks everyone for their best wishes and he will be joining soon.

Cheers everyone!

03-01-2005, 12:50 AM
Shawn is offering a reward for his camera. It is in a Pelican water proof case, black in colour. Camera is a Canon S50 in a water proof housing with various memory cards and batteries etc., etc. Please PM if any information is recieved. Either me or Shawn (Witchdoctor).

I have lost a JVC video camera in a Seahorse waterproof case (similar to a Pelican case). Both of these should have floated. Lets hope they are with someone honest.

Thanks Smithy.

03-01-2005, 01:14 AM
Well the boys are climbing back on the horse and heading out with Danny Simons on his 34' Black Watch "Fair Game" this morning. Danny was the previous owner of the 26' we rolled and it was called "Fair Game" under his ownership. Dan is the President of the Gold Coast club and has been great along with all the club guys. If you are looking at getting in touch with this great bunch of guys, looking at a ride on some of the top boats in the country or want to learn about gamefishing, joining the Gold Coast club is well worth it. The other bonus is they are one of the cheapest around at $49.50. Lets hope they get onto a few. I am still a bit sore to move more than 5m away fromt the couch.

03-01-2005, 04:23 AM
Glad to hear all is well and that everyone is back to it!!
Scary shit!
Best wishes to you all!

# # # # # #Regards, Tony

03-01-2005, 09:02 PM
lucky boys smithy!
glad to hear you fellas are ok.hope it dosent take two long two get yourselves and your gear back to 100 0/0
cheers scott

04-01-2005, 05:21 AM
Good news in the end Smithy that's all that counts.

I went out the Seaway for the first time in about 2 years on Saturday. The run out was as flat as a tack but it was pretty messy at about 1:00pm on the way home.

Is it just me or has that bank out from the northern wall got bigger and shallower. I remember being able to run pretty much north-east out of the wall but you have to head a lot further east now before turning north.

There were a lot of white caps and a fairly big swell on the way in. I just had a quick stop and look and the first thing that went through my mind was you guys. I had told everone else on the boat about you guys and when I looked around at them they were all looking at me with THAT look in their eyes. I told them we'd be fine but I don't think I've concentrated as much on a run in through the Seaway as I did on Saturday.

Smithy I might take you up on that offer of the game club as well because we did 3 hours troll for one 4 sec turn of the ratchet up off the pin bar.

Oh well first attempt.

Hope to see all of you guys back out there soon.


04-01-2005, 05:25 AM
bagman- 3 hours for one shot isnt so bad :o we trolled about 8 or 9 hours yesterday for one billwhack. gone really quiet here since last wed. hopefully its not the end already??

04-01-2005, 05:59 AM
G'day guys, We are all on the mend, thanks for all of the well wishes. like Smithy said, Monroe and I went back out yesterday for a fish. We went out on Danny Simons 34 foot Black Watch "Fair Game", what can I say an awsome boat.We ended up with a couple of Black Marlin for the day, about 30 and 40kg. It was good to get back out there so soon to get over any hang ups we might have had, bring on the next trip! :)


04-01-2005, 03:01 PM
What would be the main contributing factors with this incident?

Cheers, Kerry.

04-01-2005, 09:40 PM
most accidents fit the 'swiss cheese model'
when multiple errors line up, like holes in cheese,
then accidents will happen.
usually takes multiple f-ups to get the result.

05-01-2005, 11:07 AM

Welcome to the club mate...good to hear that everyone made it safely back to shore. Funny thing though.. it was exactly 5 years to the day (Dec 30) that we sunk the boat at the South Passage!!! Makes your NYE drinks taste all that bit sweeter.



05-01-2005, 12:49 PM

Just found this thread, feel like I've been hiden under a rock for the last few days, been away from all types of Media.

I now understand your comment (different thread) about getting back on the horse !!
So relieved to hear yourself and the crew came through relatively unscathed, Shit mate, who's going to take care of the "Golden Lure" if you do yourself in, Motty & Bondy !!!!!

It's a bit late for me to tell you to put it all behind you, you've been back out and caught "Billies" !!!

Stay safe mate,


06-01-2005, 04:26 AM
Geez Trent 5 years to the day. Quite an illustrious club and not the sort of initiation I would suggest going through.

What is black and white and sits on the bottom of Moreton Bay? Matt Hayden and Andrew Symonds (and Trent of course)!

From Skipper Flipper they are calling me of the good ship Fair Dunkum.

06-01-2005, 04:36 AM
Nice to see a bit of humuor coming back smithy

06-01-2005, 12:43 PM
after hearing the news that smithy and munroe went pearshaped on a bad wave makes me think long and hard and i will be picking my weather carefully to cross the breaksea spit. i think the chances of being picked up from there are slim. i have already spoke to smithy but to rest of the people on board we are glad you made out ok

27-01-2005, 07:07 AM
This is a scan of a Craig Smith cartoon out of the back of Bluewater magazine from Aug/Sep 04. Some people are saying this is what happened! ;D

The original caption read "Everything was fine until Lumpy decided to join Big John and Tubby in the Tower".

Just need to substitute the words Shawn for Lumpy, Monroe for Big John and Smithy for Tubby.


27-01-2005, 09:39 AM
[smiley=laugh.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif]
Know it's easier to say from my side, but with trying to pull a positive angle out of all this, mabey this experience will let others realise that the sea is always unpredictable and to take constant care and never underestimate it. I'm in the process of removing some of the seats out of my small boat as with the oversized 90hp, 80L of petrol, 120L eskie filled with slurry(and hopefully fish) and occasional oversized passanger all pressed into the back of the boat it goes without saying that it's not a well balanced outfit. This was evident when in a recent trip while rounding the cape (a bit too close) on the way to Henderson when I was struck head on by a decent wave. Just as I swallowed my heart back out of my throat I noticed the next wave gathering water and peaking. Hit the thing and threw the boat nearly verticle and without applying more throttle to throw the bow over I'm pretty sure I woulda flipped. The boat landed ass 1st with the bow luckily coming down and not over. Quickly got out of there and fished in the Bay after changing the undies. My case was a pure example of being overconfident and under-skilled and under-equipped(small boat) in a large swell and in an area I still have a lot to learn about. The trip I took with Rob(in his 2mt tinnie [smiley=laugh.gif] ;D) some time back gave me a new world of confidence in my rig but now I realise that the fish can wait and when I gotta think for more than a couple of minutes if I should try to tackle the messy conditions ahead, mabey it's best to give it a miss for the day.
Jay [smiley=uhoh.gif] :)

27-01-2005, 09:43 AM

27-01-2005, 09:59 AM
Excellent post Jay..

27-01-2005, 11:54 AM
Well said Jay !

I have seen quite a few posts here telling newbies to head around the top of the cape before they try and venture out the South Passage Bar and do worry about that advice. Given the right conditions you will have no problems but I would say 7 out of 10 trips I do out there the conditions are far from that. The current really rips through there and with a good swell and wind/tide against you there is the making for tragedy for the inexperienced skipper with an ill-equipped boat in the short sharp swell and chop. Some of the boats I have seen at Hutchies at times make me shake my head in amazement. I am not sure if it is bravado or what but to me it is just stupid and not only puts the skipper and crew in danger but also endangers the lives of VMR staff unnecessarily.

A skipper making a decision to turn back is great to see if the conditions dont suit - good onya for that Jay !

As my old says to me - Dont matter how bigger boat you have there aint no such thing as a big boat in the deep blue.



27-01-2005, 05:29 PM
As much as I love the sea,it still scares the hell out of me.
Great posts guys.

28-01-2005, 02:23 AM
for the newbies i would recommend mooloolaba for their first few offshore trips. after going through the sea way for the first time on the weekend i would say its a fairly safe bar (with out swell of course ;))