Commercial fishing boats in the spotlight for unsafe practices
FLOATING 130 nautical miles east of Mackay, a fisherman's engine failed.
He activated his emergency beacon, which triggered a chain of communication to alert a rescue aircraft.
He was on a dory and had no way of contacting his master ship or the other four fishermen in dories in the sea around him.
It was on October 23 and he was eventually saved by his mates, who were on the master ship, and the helicopter was sent back.
But it's an expensive and recurring problem for Australia's maritime authority as small commercial fishing boats have no communication to their master ships.
Between January 1 and October 7 there were 14 search and rescues involving dories in Queensland.
The aluminium or fibreglass dinghies are used on the reef to catch coral trout and mackerel.
Of the 14 rescues, nine were engine breakdowns and three were real distress calls where lives were saved.
But in 2013, a Cairns fisherman couldn't be saved.
On Monday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority met with 24 Mackay fishermen to discuss changes outlined by the coroner at the inquest into the death of Glenn Anthony Wilson.
The inquest found Mr Wilson tried to lift an anchor stuck in the reef by powering forward with the outboard motor. The anchor didn't dislodge from the reef, which caused his dory to capsize, and he drowned.
AMSA public liaison officer Mick Bishop said this method for pulling up an anchor was talked about, as was the communication between dories and master ships, life jackets and tracking the location of the dories.
"There was a little bit of negativity at the start of the meeting but some of them were contributing ideas because there is a growing awareness (the fishermen) have to improve their safety," he said.
But fishermen have also been told, they either contribute to the improved safety operations or they will be regulated without their input.
"I must say some fishermen have really good safety procedures, they are not all hopeless, but others really need to get better safety systems in place," he said.