THERE was drama aplenty on St Georges Basin this week when Marine Rescue helped retrieve a runaway boat after its owner was knocked overboard by the wake from a passing vessel.
A jet-skier came to the rescue of Shoalhaven fisherman Anthony Rocheta who was thrown into the water by the wash of a larger boat on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Rocheta, who was wearing a lifejacket, was spotted by jet-skier Jame Karaista, who took him on board and headed for shore.
Marine Rescue Sussex Inlet unit commander John Lang said it appeared Mr Rocheta knocked the throttle to full as he fell and the tiller turned, causing the empty boat to run at speed in a five-metre circle.
Marine Rescue vessel Sussex Inlet 10 arrived at the scene about 20 minutes later after receiving a call about a driverless boat.
“It was too dangerous for the crew to attempt to board the tinny,’’ Mr Lang said. “We couldn’t get too close or inside the five-metre circle.”
A short time later Mr Karaista returned with Mr Rocheta and a rope they hoped to use to snare the out-of-control tinny.
A decision was then made to stop the boat spinning by tangling the propeller.
“We got it first time,” Mr Lang said.