A Moranbah father-of-three has described a horror night at sea, when he was forced to cling to his capsized boat in shark-infested waters south of Mackay.
Fisherman Benjamin Mackay had decided to spend a weekend fishing and crabbing by himself before Christmas, and was preparing to go to bed on Aquila Island off the coast of Clairview when he realised his tinnie had drifted out to sea.
Wearing only his underwear, Mr Mackay swam out to his boat, but ran into trouble on the way back in.
“Smashed into the water, I went down under the water and I came back up… pitch black, couldn't see the island, couldn't see the mainland, didn’t have a clue where I was, I was just in the ocean,” Mr Mackay said.
He spent nine hours being battered by waves and wind before the sun came up and he decided to swim to shore.
“I just kept thinking of my family. You've got to get home to your family, it’s your daughter’s birthday today, you have got to get home your family it's Christmas, get home,” Mr Mackay said.
Mr Mackay has now been reunited with his family.
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MACKAY: Mostly sunny. Slight (20%) chance of a shower. Light winds becoming easterly 15 to 20 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the late afternoon.
WHITSUNDAYS: Mostly sunny. Slight (20%) chance of a shower along the coastal fringe, near zero chance elsewhere. Light winds becoming easterly 15 to 25 km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the evening
ON THE WATERS: Easterly 10 to 15 knots. Seas Below 1 metre. Swell East to northeasterly below 1 metre.
UV Alert - Sun protection recommended from 7:50 am to 4:10 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 15 [Extreme]