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'Save the beer': Fishermen found clinging to esky off Australian coast

When WA Water Police pulled the men's esky on board they realised some precious cargo had been left behind.

Four fishermen found clinging to an esky after their boat sunk south of Perth on Sunday were relieved to be rescued, but were gutted to discover their precious cargo had been lost.

During their early morning trip, the fishermen's boat capsized after taking on water about 300 metres off Garden Island. Two clung to a large, green esky to help keep afloat before water police reached them just after 7am.

Left: A photo of a boat that sunk off Garden Island in Western Australia. Right: A photo of two men clinging to a green esky.
Four men used an esky to keep afloat after their fishing boat sank off Garden Island, south of Perth. Source: Facebook/ 9 News

"Water Police arrived on scene... and it was confirmed the boat had sunk, with just its bow visible above the water line, and its four occupants were now in the ocean," WA Police said in a statement.

Video shows two of the men boarding the police boat with two others holding onto the esky, still waiting to be rescued.

“We’ve got two on board, and we are en route in a few seconds to get the other two,” an officer says on the radio.

As the green esky is being lifted by officers, one of the rescued men realise the second, more important esky is nowhere to be seen.

"Oh no! The other esky has beer in it... that one is just ice and bloody bait!" they say in the video.

Fisherman escape uninjured, boat recovered

Crews were able to rescue the men, who spent about 30 minutes in the water, without incident.

“None of the four rescued people were seriously injured,” the WA Police statement read.

According to Marine Rescue Rockingham, the submerged boat was towed back to shore by volunteers, given that it was a "navigational hazard to other vessels".

"The crew attached a line and managed to re-float the vessel and tow it safely to harbour," they said on their Facebook page.

"Great teamwork from Garry, Simon, Stephen and Malcolm this morning (Sunday)."

with AAP

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