“#Man forced to leave behind drowned parents after boating tragedy”
June 19, 2020 | 2:11pm
Bob and Jan Oostryck, their son Ryan and his girlfriend Galina were on a 20-foot-long boat in Coral Bay, about 750 miles northwest of Perth, when waves flipped the vessel over about 2 p.m. Tuesday, news.com.au reported.
Ryan and Galina performed CPR on his parents for 20 to 30 minutes at North Passage near Mauds Landing before the couple made the agonizing decision to tie their bodies to the hull and swim to shore with life jackets, according to the outlet.
It took them four hours to swim almost 2 miles, but they then had to trek an additional 4 miles through Western Australia’s rugged Gascoyne region before finally reaching campers who drove them to Coral Bay, where they notified authorities about the tragedy.
The deceased parents were located at 8 a.m. Wednesday after a massive air, land and sea search.
“The younger couple made it to the surface,” Pilbara District Acting Superintendent Mark Flesken said, news.com.au reported. “Shortly afterwards, the couple in their 70s came to surface but unfortunately at that point in time it appeared they had passed away.”
Flesken said the family’s boat was knocked over by a couple of large waves near Ningaloo Reef.
“I’m not aware of the actual size of the waves or whether they could be classified as freak, but they were certainly strong enough to knock the boat and capsize the boat,” he said.
In a statement, the family said they are “devastated and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Bob and Jan Oostryck. Bob and Jan were incredible people, full of life and they were doing what they loved in a place they loved,” according to abc.net.au.
“Their family and friends adored them and will cherish their memories with them in Coral Bay,” they added. “We are so proud of Ryan and Galina and words can’t explain how grateful everyone is to have them back safely.
The family said the Oostrycks “were knocked unconscious and trapped underwater for a period of time,” adding that “all necessary safety equipment was onboard but was not accessible due to the sudden capsizing.”
Local holiday spot Coral Bay House, where the family was well known, posted a message on Facebook in memory of the “long time friends, confidants, fishing buddies and fighters of the plight to regain recognition of justice served here in Coral Bay,” news.com.au reported.
“RIP together, may your days now be to look over other fishing buddies,” it added.
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