Father, son escape boat fire off Hummock Island

Although the fishing boat Japara sank off Three Hummock Island on Monday night, everyone involved says the same thing - the crew were very lucky.

A father and son are thanking their lucky stars after they safely escaped a boat that caught fire.

Warwick Treloggen and his 11-year-old son Noah had spent a week fishing near Albatross Island when a fire broke out on their boat, The Japara.

The fire started about 5.30pm on Monday in the engine room. Mr Treloggen tried to extinguish the blaze but it soon spread to the galley and kitchen.

“It was too intense to try and save [The Japara] and it got too dangerous so we deployed the life raft,” Mr Treloggen said.

Mr Treloggen, Noah and the two other fishermen on board clambered into the life raft. 

“We drifted back through into the smoke and the life raft filled up with smoke,” Mr Treloggen said.

“We could actually feel the heat from the fire on the backside of the life raft and  … I just had an inkling that the life raft was going to melt.

“Then all of a sudden we just drifted past it and we were back out into clear air.”

The fire started while the boat was near the sheltered waters of Three Hummock Island.

Noah also plunged into the water when a wave hit the life raft as he was trying to get onto the rocky shores of Three Hummock Island.

Hotel workers helped the four fishermen get to safety before a helicopter took them to the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie.

The men were treated for smoke inhalation and mild injuries.