A man has been found dead in the water around 10 nautical miles off the coast of Alkimos after a member of the public spotted an upturned boat, triggering a rescue operation.
Police said three men were found near the boat, but one had already passed away.
Senior Sergeant Jamie Brennan, officer in charge of Yanchep Police, said the men were on a fishing trip when they got into difficulties and their anchored boat capsized.
He said the men were in the water two hours, deploying an orange emergency smoke flare which was seen by another passing fishing vessel.
“The two remaining survivors are shaken, obviously, having lost one of their friends, however, physically, they appear to be OK,” Brennan said.
Brennan said the men had emergency equipment on board and two of the men were wearing life jackets.
“There was a fair bit of swell out there today, but as you know the sea can be quite an unforgiving environment. You’ve always got to have your wits about you,” he said.
“I’m sure every skipper goes out there fishing or enjoying the ocean, not expecting something tragic like this to happen.
“Being a skipper myself, we’re all well-versed in what safety equipment we have to take with us and we should all be wearing life jackets and carry the appropriate EPIRB flares et cetera.”
He added that the boat appeared to only have sustained minor damage.
The Water Police coordination centre in North Fremantle deployed water and local police, RAC helicopters and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ Two Rocks Marine Rescue team.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing and a report will be provided to the coroner.