Calls to boost services after boat tragedy

The death of a couple in a boating accident at a tourist hotspot in Western Australia has prompted calls for better emergency services in the area.

Bob and Jan Oostryck, both aged in their 70s, died after their 6.1m vessel was struck by two huge waves and capsized on Tuesday afternoon near the north passage in Coral Bay.

Their youngest son Ryan and his girlfriend Galina swam for four hours to shore, then walked another two-and-a-half hours until they found beach campers who drove to Coral Bay to raise the alarm.

The bodies were recovered on Wednesday.

In a statement on Thursday, the family said they were "hurting deeply" and heartbroken at the loss.

"Bob and Jan were incredible people, full of life and they were doing what they loved in a place they loved," they said.

The family said all necessary safety equipment had been on board, but was not accessible when the boat suddenly capsized.

The older couple were knocked unconscious and trapped underwater, and a 30-minute attempt to resuscitate them failed.

"With the boat dangerously close to the reef, Ryan secured their bodies to the boat and made the difficult decision to leave and swim to safety," the family said.

Shire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith described Mr Oostryck as a "straight talker".

"He didn't mince his words, he was a pretty straight up guy," Mr Smith told AAP.

Mr Smith has called for better health and emergency services in Coral Bay, noting there is no permanent police presence and the ambulance officers are all volunteers.

He said the population of about 200 could increase to more than 5000 people during the peak tourism season.

"They don't have the normal services that a country town would have," he said.

"They do a fantastic job but they are overloaded, they are getting smashed.

"This tragedy just highlights there's a real problem."

Local Nationals WA MP Vince Catania agreed and told AAP the state government should invest in housing so Coral Bay could become a gazetted town.

"By having proper accommodation, it allows people to live and work in Coral Bay," he said.