Two women, both aged 24, and a 30-year-old man were at the back of a boat when they fell overboard. The skipper remained aboard the pleasure craft.
It is not known how they managed to fall into the water, about four nautical miles west of Swanbourne.
“Another reminder that your lifejacket only works if you wear it.”
Police were alerted to the incident about 8.10pm by the skipper of the boat, which was returning from Rottnest Island.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority was called in about 8.30pm.
“Although the vessel was equipped with all required safety equipment, the missing people were not wearing life vests,” WA Police acting Superintendent Mal Anderson said.
Water Police began co-ordinating a search immediately with police boats and the airwing, as well as other vessels from Fremantle.
Acting Supt Anderson said three aircraft and nine vessels were involved in the search and rescue.
“The vessel was located quickly and assisted back to Fremantle with skipper on board,” he said.
“After about 2.5 hours the three missing people were located in the water and taken aboard the pilot vessel Berkeley.
“They were conveyed to Fremantle and then to hospital where they are being treated for exhaustion.”
AMSA this morning posted vision of the moment rescuers plucked the three people to safety.
“Shortly before 11pm the pilot boat Berkeley located the three survivors in the water and brought them on board,” AMSA said.
Source: The West Australian