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Lucky escape after dinghy capsizes off Tas

Three men have had a lucky escape after their five-metre dinghy capsized and sank off the coast of Tasmania’s remote west.

The trio, all locals, were forced to swim to shore after getting into trouble around 7.30pm on Saturday about 10 kilometres south of Cape Sorell, near Macquarie Harbour.

One of the men was able to ring police but the group did not activate a personal locator beacon or set off flares.

Police rescuers from the northwest coast were sent to find the men but a helicopter couldn’t leave Hobart due to bad weather.

“This incident serves as a warning that boat operators need to show a high degree of caution when setting or checking cray pots close to shore, particularly on the west coast,” Tasmania Police said in a statement.

“Inexperience and the potential for rogue waves can have tragic consequences.

“On this occasion, the men were very fortunate to have been within mobile service range.”

The men suffered minor injuries and were left “cold and wet” but able to walk to holiday shacks in the area. A local transported them across Macquarie Heads to their camp.

There have been two fatal boating mishaps in Tasmania in recent weeks.

A 65-year-old man’s body was found washed ashore in southern Tasmania on Friday morning after he set off the day before with his son, who was rescued after spending eight hours at sea.

Three friends died on a boating trip off the state’s northwest in October.

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