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Four saved in boat fire drama

It started as a 200 kilometre boat trip for these two men and their 11-year-old sons. It ended abruptly after just eight kilometres when their boat caught fire and sank off the coast of Sydney. Scott Smiles, Rick Matthews and their respective children Riley and Ryan clung to a cool box for up to 45 minutes until Australian rescue teams found them. Scott Smiles managed to get the boat's emergency beacon before it went down. SOUNDBITE: Scott Smiles, survivor, saying (English): "(I) Grabbed the EPIRB, grabbed my wallet, ran out. By that time Rick had lifejackets on the boys. I grabbed the Esky (cool box), jumped off the back deck." Police said without the emergency beacon it could have taken much longer to spot them. SOUNDBITE: Mark Hutchins, New South Wales Police, saying (English): "These beacons give a GPS location within metres and we are able to get to people very quickly. Had he not done that I can almost guarantee you we'd still be searching for them." A rescue helicopter dropped a life raft as a rescue boat raced to pick up the party. The four of them were rushed back to Sydney. Police said Matthews was treated at a specialist unit for chemical burns to his leg caused by leaking petrol. Riley Smiles was philosophical about losing his fishing gear. SOUNDBITE: Riley Smiles, survivor, saying (English): "I lost everything but I can buy all that stuff again." Local media said the boat went down in just one minute after the fire was spotted. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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