What started as an afternoon of fishing fuelled adventure on Moreton Bay ended with two of the state’s most promising apprentices stranded off the Queensland coast and needing a police rescue on Monday night.
Young guns Justin Huxtable and Adin Thompson were enjoying a day out of the saddle when their jet ski stalled and they become stranded about 5km off the Queensland coast around 3.30pm on Monday on Monday.
The pair would spend close to six hours floating out at sea and required the help of the police rescue helicopter and Coast Guard to get back to dry ground.
And they arrived safely back on shore with one heck of a story to tell.
Huxtable had only purchased the jet ski ‘about a week or two ago’ as an outlet away from racing having always spent time around the water growing up near Kangaroo Island.
The former South Australian young gun decided to take it for a spin and give his good mate Thompson his first look around Moreton Island following an afternoon spent fishing.
Jockey Justin Huxtable has been riding with success in Queensland. Picture credit: Greg Irvine/Magic MillionsSource:Supplied
But the warning signs were there early on that this was going to be no ordinary day on the water.
A brand new $800 fishing rod, purchased that morning, was the first casualty en route to their destination when it came unstuck off the back of the jet ski and couldn’t be salvaged.
Before long all the would-be-adventurers tackle and lures followed the rod into the drink along with the butane gas needed to start the pairs’ BBQ when they reached the shore.
With no way to cook lunch it proved to be a short stay on Moreton Island but it was on the journey back that the carnage truly began.
“We were about 5km off Nudgee Beach when I felt a tap on my back and Adin goes, ‘you must be pretty unlucky’,” Huxtable explained with a laugh.
“Another rod worth about $400 had fallen out, We cruised along for about another 2 mins and then we heard crash and bang.
“The whole esky had fallen off into the water.
“And the ratchet strap we had used to tie it down had also come loose underneath and it just sucked it under the ski, wrapped around the drive shaft and seized the engine.
“That was it.”
The tangled jetski driveshaft.Source:Supplied
The specialised esky and tackle box floating in Moreton Bay.Source:Supplied
By that stage it was about 3.30pm in the afternoon and after sharing a laugh, Huxtable felt it best to phone a friend — a mate who lived nearby who owned a boat.
The mate was quick to make his way down to the jetty and begin his search for the stranded hoops.
The only problem then was finding them.
“It was pretty funny at the time because we thought it was a joke,” Thompson said.
“Then it started to get darker and we realised this is pretty serious so we better start doing something.
“I’d never seen a flare go off so we thought we would put a few of them out to see what they’d do.”
Huxtable sent three in the air while keeping one spare and then the pair continued to play the waiting game.
Music and a couple of phone calls to friends, including one to fellow apprentice Baylee Nothdurft, kept the duo occupied while they waited for assistance.
Fellow apprentice Baylee Nothdurft got a phone call. Picture: Adin ThompsonSource:Supplied
But when their mate never arrived the pair were forced to call the Coast Guard as day had quickly became night.
“They told us they would get a boat in the water ASAP but literally when I hang up the phone from them we saw this big thing come over the horizon,” Huxtable said.
“This helicopter came over the cliff with a spotlight on it and they were clearly looking for something.
“We got the v-sheet out, which we held up in the air, and they found us and sat right above us with the spotlight on us.
“It was a police chopper and when we turned around looking towards the Port of Brisbane this police boat had come up behind us.
“They’d had reports of flares off the beach at Redcliffe. It was about 8 o’clock by that stage.
“Thankfully they were able to help us out and get us back to shore.”
The jet ski got towed back to Redcliffe jetty with the pair eventually landing back on dry ground after 9pm with a hefty damage bill and a yarn for the ages.
“T hat was my Monday day off,” Huxtable said.
“A mate and I are looking at the jet ski this morning to try and untangle the cord from the drive shaft and the back of the jetski is a bit cut up from where the esky came off.
“Yesterday has probably cost us about $3000 so hopefully I can ride a winner tomorrow at Ipswich.”
Jockey Adin Thompson was back riding on Tuesday. Picture: AAP Image/Albert PerezSource:AAP
For Thompson, it’s not the first time he’s come unstuck out on the open water since moving to Brisbane.
“I just bought a boat when I moved to Brisbane and I blew it up,” he said.
“Baylee Nothdurft and I were out that day but I wasn’t that far out in the ocean.
“We got about 400m off the boat ramp and the tide was pushing further up the Brisbane River.
“It got dark and Baylee started panicking and screaming out for help. Someone heard us at the boat ramp and it was actually Justin, who had just come back from Moreton that day.
“I’ve got a good record out there now, I’m two for two distasters.”
Monday’s adventure didn’t stop either apprentice from reporting for work on Tuesday though.
Huxtable rode trackwork that morning while Thompson flew to Townsville for four rides in Queensland’s north.
Originally published asWave riders: Police rescue jockeys 5km off the coast
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