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Police have criticised two fishermen who were rescued off Mandurah overnight for carrying no emergency equipment.

Guided by a police helicopter, the Mandurah Water Rescue Group found the men and their dog in Cox Bay about 2am.

They did not have an EPIRB, flare, radio system or mobile phone on their boat.

The men, aged 51 and 58, had enjoyed a day's fishing at James Service Reef before they became lost and ran out of fuel.

One of their wives called water police about 10pm to report them missing.

Police spokesman Sam Dinnison said just before 2am, the police helicopter identified a boat that had not moved.

The volunteers from the Mandurah Water Rescue Group had to change vessels before towing them to Ravenswood.

"The rescue team had to change boats to get to them because of the shallow water," he said. "We're happy we rescued them but we're not really impressed that they had no equipment.

"If they had any of that equipment, it would have made things a lot easier."