Son whose parents died at Coral Bay performed CPR for 30 minutes

How son and his girlfriend desperately performed CPR on his drowned parents for 30 minutes when their boat capsized in shark-infested waters – before tying their bodies to the vessel and making the FOUR-HOUR swim to shore

  • Bob and Jan Oostryck were fishing off Coral Bay on WA’s coast, north of Perth
  • Elderly couple were with son Ryan and his girlfriend Galina when boat flipped 
  • Ryan and Galina desperately performed CPR on his parents for 30 minutes 
  • They lost hope and tied his parents to the vessel and swam 3km back to shore  
  • The pair then trekked 6km over two-and-a-half hours to raise the alarm for help 

A young man and his girlfriend desperately tried to revive his drowned parents after their boat capsized in shark-infested waters, before making the agonising decision to fight for their own survival by swimming four hours to shore.  

Bob and Jan Oostryck, in their 70s, were fishing off Coral Bay – about 1,100km north of Perth – with their son Ryan and his girlfriend Galina on Tuesday when two freak waves flipped their 6.1-metre fishing boat at about 2pm. 

The elderly couple were knocked unconscious and became trapped underwater, the Oostryck family said in a statement on Thursday. 

Ryan and Galina found their bodies and performed CPR for 30 minutes before realising there was nothing they could do to save them. 

Ryan and his girlfriend Galina were fishing with his parents when freak waves overturned the large vessel

Bob and Jan Oostryck, in their 70s, were fishing off Coral Bay – about 1,100km north of Perth – with their son Ryan and his girlfriend Galina on Tuesday

An air and sea search began early on Wednesday in search for the vessel (pictured after being towed back to shore) and Mr and Mrs Oostryck’s bodies

They secured the bodies to the boat and swam to shore, an exhausting 3km journey which took four hours.  

The young couple were then forced to trek another 6km over two-and-a-half hours in harsh terrain before they found someone who raised the alarm.  

A major air and sea search was launched to find the boat and the bodies of Mr and Mrs Oostryck, which were discovered the next morning.  

Police were yet to confirm whether they elderly couple were wearing life jackets. 

The family said all necessary safety equipment had been on board, but was not accessible when the boat suddenly capsized.  

In a statement on Thursday, the family said they were ‘hurting deeply’ and heartbroken by their loss.

‘Bob and Jan were incredible people, full of life and they were doing what they loved in a place they loved,’ they said.  

‘Their family and friends adored them and will cherish their memories with them in Coral Bay.

‘We are so proud of Ryan and Galina and words can’t explain how grateful everyone is to have them back safely. The family is hurting deeply.’ 

Ryan and Galina were forced to swim 3km and walk 6km where they raised the alarm 

Bob and Jan Oostryck (pictured) were found floating next to their vessel about 8am on Wednesday

Ryan (right with The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel) was on the boat with his parents and girlfriend when it capsized

Shire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith described Mr Oostryck as a ‘straight talker’.

‘He didn’t mince his words, he was a pretty straight up guy,’ Mr Smith said. 

Mr Smith has called for better health and emergency services in Coral Bay, noting there is no permanent police presence and the ambulance officers are all volunteers.

He said the population of about 200 could increase to more than 5000 people during the peak tourism season.

‘They don’t have the normal services that a country town would have,’ he said.

‘They do a fantastic job but they are overloaded, they are getting smashed. This tragedy just highlights there’s a real problem.’

Local Nationals WA MP Vince Catania agreed and said the state government should invest in housing so Coral Bay could become a gazetted town.

‘By having proper accommodation, it allows people to live and work in Coral Bay,’ he said.

A Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre jet located the capsized vessel (right) just before 8am on Wednesday

Staff at Coral Bay House, a holiday home which Mr and Mrs Oostryck frequently visited, shared their condolences after the tragedy. 

‘Today we heard the very sad news of our dear friends Bob and Jan Oostryck, who drowned in a tragic freak accident here in Coral Bay,’ the post read.

‘They have been long time friends, confidants, fishing buddies and fighters of the plight to regain recognition of justice served here in Coral Bay.

‘May you RIP together, may your days now be to look over other fishing buddies. 

‘Thank you for all your kindness, all of your devotion, the many dinner dates where we fed Bob to his fullest, to the timeless hours of talk with Joe and really just your love of others for no reward. You will be missed greatly.’   

Ryan (pictured) desperately performed CPR on his parents for 30 minutes before losing hope 

Acting Superintendent Mark Fleskens offered his condolences following the tragedy. 

‘We give our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those involved,’ he said.  

He also issued a warning to anyone going out to sea.

‘At this time of the year, especially out this way, the weather is beautiful and my message to all boat users is enjoy yourself but be prepared,’ he said.

‘Make sure you have got all the emergency EPIRBs and beacons, and most importantly wear your life jackets, let people know where you are going and when you expect to come back to land.’ 

The 6.1m vessel (pictured) capsized after large waves overturned it on Tuesday afternoon

Mr and Mrs Oostryck’s deaths come four years after fishermen Nigel Kitchen, 50, and Andrew Hinds, 57, failed to return from a fishing trip in May 2016 at Coral Bay.

The pair couldn’t be found during a five-day search, but an arm belonging to Mr Kitchen was found two days later by a tourist snorkelling in the area. 

A year earlier, a 24-year-old man died while snorkelling at Coral Bay in 2015.    

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