Two men have miraculously managed to keep a seven-year-old boy alive for six hours after their boat sank more than 14km off the Queensland coast.
Maike Hohnen, 38, his seven-year-old son Julian and Hohnen's friend Stephen Jeacocke, 48, were on a fishing trip off the coast of Caloundra when their 5.2m boat started to sink on Saturday afternoon.
Hohnen made a distress call to rescuers around 1.30am yesterday, begging for help. Their boat sank minutes later.
The two friends treaded water for six hours, clinging to a floating Esky and taking it in turns to try and keep Julian afloat and out of the cold water overnight.
Rescuers made it to the group just before 8am yesterday after an anchored tanker spotted them.
The water temperature was around 21C which despite not being freezing still caused all three to suffer from hypothermia.
Jeacocke was violently shivering as he was stretchered into an ambulance yesterday morning and taken to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
While the two men are in a stable condition, little Julian is still in the fight of his life and is in an induced coma.
On Facebook, Hohnen regularly posts about his seven-year-old.
"I'm the luckiest man alive, I've got a beautiful son, who puts a smile on my face everyday," Hohnen's Facebook bio reads.
Hohnen, a keen fisherman, has also posted a number of photos of his son fishing.
"It is very lucky that all three were found alive this morning," Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Kristy MacAlister said yesterday.
Julian was winched into a helicopter and taken to Sunshine Coast University Hospital, where he remains in a critical condition.
"Having been in the water for several hours, it is very lucky they were found when they were," she said.
"It's always a delicate operation when you're winching a patient up with hypothermia.
"As you winch them, the wind temperature can decrease the body temperature further.
"He was suffering from hypothermia because he had been in the water for quite some time."