Capsized Qld boat boy wins fight for life

Update at 4.25pm, June 13:  THE young boy who was plucked from the ocean in a critical condition after a boat capsized off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has been released from hospital.

Julian Hohnen, 7, suffered hypothermia when he and father Maike Hohnen, 39, and family friend Stephen Jeacocke, 48, were thrown into the ocean shortly after 1.30am on Sunday as their boat sank.

The two men clung to debris from the 5.2-metre vessel while taking turns keeping the boy afloat before Julian was winched out by helicopter in a critical condition.

© AAP 2019

Update at 8.30am, June 11: A SEVEN-year-old boy is in a stable condition after being plucked from the sea when a boat sank off the Sunshine Coast.

Julian Hohnen was winched to safety about 2.30am on Sunday after the boat sank, leaving him, his father and another man in the open sea off Caloundra.

Elimbah truck driver Maike Hohnen, 38, his young son and family friend Stephen Jeacocke, 48, spent six hours in the water.

The two men clung to debris from the 5.2 metre vessel while taking turns keeping the boy afloat.

He remains in the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, with his condition listed as serious on Monday afternoon, while the two men have been released from hospital.

© AAP 2019

Update @8.30am, June 10: A SEVEN-year-old child is still fighting for life in hospital after spending more than six hours floating out at sea.

The boy was in a boat with two other men, when it began taking on water in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A distress call was made to the coast guard shortly after, though the boat sank shortly after.

It’s believed the two men took turns holding the boy above the water, in attempts to save the boy’s life.

Rescue teams found the trio just after sunrise, around 8.00am, after a tanker anchored offshore notified authorities.

The boy was airlifted to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, where he remains in a critical condition.

The two men were also taken to the hospital, both suffering hypothermia.

Earlier @11.00am, June 9: A CHILD has been flown to hospital in a critical condition after he and two men spent six hours floating in the freezing open ocean following a boating accident off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The boy, believed to be just seven-years-old, and two men were about 14km off the coast of Caloundra when their 5.2 metre fishing vessel began taking on water shortly after 1.30am on Sunday.

It’s understood a distress call was made to the coastguard about 1.45am and water police raced to sea to rescue the trio, but they could not be found.

After spending six hours treading water in the dark open ocean, the trio were spotted floating at sea soon after sunrise, about 8am.

The boy was winched out the freezing water by a rescue helicopter and airlifted to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital in a critical condition.

The men, aged in their 30s and 40s, were brought back to shore at Mooloolaba by marine rescue and have been taken by ambulance to the same hospital, suffering from hypothermia.

Queensland Ambulance said the men were transported in stable conditions.

No further information was available at the time of writing.


Warriors hit by illness before Titans game

Several Warriors players have been laid low by gastroenteritis, providing an unwanted birthday surprise for beleaguered coach Stephen Kearney.

Key members of the spine were among four players forced to skip training on Tuesday, three days out from their NRL match against the Titans on the Gold Coast.

Kearney confirmed halfback Blake Green and hookers Issac Luke and Karl Lawton had been struck down, along with utility back Blake Ayshford.

The illnesses are forecast to be short-term but it creates a juggling act for the Kiwi club, who are anxious no other players are affected when they board their trans-Tasman flight on Wednesday morning.

It also adds to mounting problems for Kearney, whose team were dismantled 32-10 by Melbourne on Saturday.

Their eighth loss of the campaign dropped them to 13th, leaving several players openly questioning the team’s mental toughness.

Kearney was equally flummoxed post-match on Saturday but his mood had lightened when his 47th birthday dawned on Tuesday.

He was successful in creating a light-hearted vibe to exorcise the memory of a dreadful second half which the Storm dominated 24-0.

“When we’re playing our best footy, we’re enjoying ourselves,” Kearney said.

“That’s why you heard a bit of laughter around the place and good spirit, because we’re that type of footy team.

“(But) we need to make sure we improve and make sure it’s an 80-minute performance. When Melbourne put us under a bit of pressure there, we didn’t handle it real well.”

The game will be the 300th for former Storm, Wests Tigers and Broncos forward Adam Blair.

He will join Reuben Wiki and Simon Mannering as the only Kiwis to reach the milestone.

Former Warriors skipper Mannering, who retired last year, is expected to address the players before kickoff.

Kearney believes Blair has put his early-season wobbles behind him and will keep building on the improved showings of recent weeks.

“He’s a competitor and he’s an experienced player and he knows how to work himself back (into form),” he said.

“That’s what guys of his experience do. Adam will know himself he just has to go out there and execute his job.”

© AAP 2019

Phone Call Mobile

Gold Coast residents targeted in new scam

Gold Coast residents are being warned about the latest scam targeting people across the city, tricking people into handing over personal information.

A number of residents on the Gold Coast, Logan and Brisbane have reported receiving calls from people claiming they are from Energex.

Some of the those have been robocalls.

The callers have been seeking personal details including Medicare numbers and driver’s license details.

Some of the callers have also been offering fake discounts on energy bills in a further bid to entice people to hand over information.

Energex says the electricity distributor will never call or knock on doors out of the blue seeking that sort of information.

“Energex is not a retailer and does not issue electricity bills so we will never call a homeowner seeking any kind of personal details such as banking information,” an Energex spokesperson said.

“On the rare occasions when we may need to contact a customer directly, we’ll never seek this sort of private information. Furthermore, all Energex staff carry identification cards at all times and will present it upon request when dealing with the community.”

Anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to be someone from Energex requesting personal details is urged to hang up and ring Energex or report it to ScamWatch here

Prison/Jail Man

Qld government announces new men’s prison

The Queensland Government has announced a new men’s prison will be built in the Lockyer Valley, near Gatton.

The $618 million facility is expected to create hundreds of local jobs and deliver significant financial benefits to local businesses.

It will be the first new prison built in Queensland since Southern Queensland Correctional Centre Stage 1 was opened in 2012.

Minister for Corrective Services, Mark Ryan, says the Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct (stage 2) near Gatton is part of the most significant budget in terms of financial commitment and resourcing in the history of Queensland Corrective Services.

“The project is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs over the three-year build and eventually deliver more than 500 permanent jobs as well as ongoing opportunities for local businesses to supply goods and services, this is great news for the Lockyer Valley.

“This is about investing in regional jobs today and for the future.

“And it’s about supporting Queensland regional businesses today and growing our economy for the future.

“Importantly, it’s about delivering regional infrastructure and services for our growing state.

“It also means safer, less crowded, more effective prisons statewide, which will help reduce recidivism and keep our communities safer,” he said.

“Planning has commenced for a modern, evidence-based prison which will support safer communities through enhanced mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation services, with a focus on addressing the ice epidemic and its link to violent and property crime.

“The Stage 2 Expansion is expected to deliver approximately 1000 beds for male prisoners by 2022-23, helping to address overcrowding across the correctional system and improving the safety of correctional officers and prisoners.

“This announcement is a part of the most significant reform of corrections in a generation, including the Government’s response to Taskforce Flaxton and the decision to transfer Queensland’s two privately-operated prisons to public operation in a world-first push to improve community safety and reduce recidivism,” Minister Ryan said.

It’s due to be completed in 2022-2023.

‘Times up’: Farmers demand swift action on climate change

FARMERS are demanding the Federal Government takes swift and decisive action to curb the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions after its latest greenhouse gas accounting revealed emissions had continued to climb.

According to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory update for December 2018, Australia’s emissions rose to a record high of 557.7mt (excluding land use data), up 0.6% from 2017.

Agriculture and electricity emissions fell, but not enough to offset transport and LNG emissions increases.

Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt said farmers were increasingly concerned that the Federal Government was “failing to take action on the single biggest issue threatening the Australian agricultural sector”.

“We’re beginning to feel like a broken record, but our emissions just keep heading in the wrong direction,” she said.

“As the country grapples with drought, water shortages and the aftermath of the hottest summer on record, it’s abundantly clear.

“Acting on climate change is not a nice-to-have or optional extra. It’s a strategic and productivity necessity if we want to keep producing food and fibre for the world.

“Farmers around Australia are sending a clear message, Federal Government politicians, particularly those representing rural Australia, have an economic and moral imperative to act.

“At a state level, Queensland is hosting Climate Week and the Victorian Nationals has pledged to support farmers (among others) to adapt to climate change.

“We welcome this acceptance of science and applaud this sub-national leadership, but we also desperately need the Federal government to recognise that it’s greenhouse gas emissions that are behind climate change.”

Farmers for Climate Action Chair and Bowna beef producer Lucinda Corrigan said her farm and community was dependent on a safe climate.

“Having just been re-elected, the Coalition Government now has an obligation to follow the lead of farmers and rise to the challenge of climate change,” Ms Corrigan said.

“Like most Australian farmers, I’m already feeling the impact of climate change on my farm in the form of more frequent extreme weather events.

“We’re adapting, but our ability to adapt has limits. We have no more time to waste.

“It is clear that the community has moved ahead of the politics in this country. The losses from climate change are higher than the cost of action.”