Kiwi fisherman dragged kilometres off Australia by marlin

  • 04/01/2017

A Kiwi fisherman has survived six hours at sea after being dragged out of his boat by a marlin off Western Australia.

Ross Chapman, formerly of Whangarei, was fishing around 55km off the coast of Exmouth on Tuesday when he hooked the large fish.

Hours later, another fisherman that was also out trawling for marlin spotted "a boat wandering around without a driver".

Commander of the Exmouth Volunteers Marine Rescue Group Rusty Ellis says the call came in around 1:30pm.

"The panic button was hit and they immediately called for some help. From then on in, we ramped up a search effort out there.

"Fortunately the man who found the boat knew the boat and person who owned it so immediately suspected something was wrong," he told Newshub.

Because the boat was so far offshore the search consisted mostly of other fishing vessels that were already in the water.

"Very, very grateful everybody out there dropped everything and went to their assistance," Mr Ellis says.

A fisherman managed to jump on board the empty boat and find the GPS coordinates from the man's last known point.

Mr Ellis believes the man tried to swim towards an oil platform because "there ain't nothing else out there".

A boat in the search party found the man in the middle of a direct line between where he left his boat and the oil platform.

Mr Chapman has been released from Exmouth Hospital and has returned home.

There are also reports he might have been reaching for his Go Pro at the time.