American River marine radio operator Carol Miell is tracking the rescue of a tuna fishing vessel taking on water south of Kangaroo Island.
She picked up the initial distress call on VMR Channel 21 just before 1pm on Saturday, February 9.
The tuna fishing vessel Grete is located near Young Rocks due south of Vivonne Bay.
The crew reported to water police that the vessel was taking on water and the engine room was flooding, Mrs Miell said.
Two other Port Lincoln-based tuna fishing vessels, the Maria Luisa and Delamere also in the area fishing, were steaming southwest in response to the distress call.
But they had to cover about 100km in very rough seas.
“They are out there punching into 3 metre plus 2, so five metre seas trying to get down there,” she said.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority also has a fixed wing aircraft responding to the emergency, she said.
Mrs Miell praised the crew of the local rock lobster boat Quadrant that initially volunteered its services if needed, but stood down after the other Port Lincoln tuna vessels responded.
UPDATE 4.30PM: The Grete is no longer in immediate danger, but still broken down. The two assisting vessels are now about three hours out.
UPDATE 6.30PM: The Maria Luisa now has the Grete under tow and is heading toward Antechamber Bay on the eastern side of Kangaroo Island. According to Mrs Miell, the vessel had just broken down but was not taking on water.