4 Jan 2014

Three rescued in rough seas off Tasmania

12:58 pm on 4 January 2014

Three people have been rescued after their boat broke down and was drifting in stormy seas off the southwest coast of Tasmania.

The Australian Maritime and Safety Authority said they activated a distress beacon after breaking down 1.5km from South West Cape late on Friday night.

AAP reports planes and a helicopter joined the search, but the rescue was hampered by eight metre swells and 100km/h winds.

The three were eventually rescued by a inflatable vessel at about 5am (AEDT) on Saturday, having drifted more than 24km. They were taken to a Tasmania police boat.

AMSA said they will return to Hobart later on Saturday.