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  1. ITV Report

Pair found clinging to ice box in ocean after 15-hour ordeal

Fishermen rescued from sea after holding on to cool box for 15 hours. Photo: APTN

Two fishermen were rescued on Saturday after spending 15 hours clinging to a cooler in the ocean after their boat sank off the state of New South Wales, Australian media reported.

The workmates, aged 25 and 34, issued a mayday call and were forced to abandon their sinking cabin cruiser off Ballina on the New South Wales north coast, on Friday afternoon.

A search involving emergency services, the Royal Australian Air Force and locals, continued until late on Friday night.

When the search resumed on Saturday morning, a helicopter spotted the upturned 18-foot cabin cruiser 13 kilometres (8 miles) off Yamba, in northern New South Wales.

One of the rescuers, Jethro Lampe, said the men were located a short distance away from the boat, wearing lifejackets and clinging to the large white ice box.

Police say the men had only recently received their boat licenses, but took necessary precautions.

The men have been taken to hospital for medical treatment.