Two men have survived hours in freezing and dangerous waters after their ultra-light aircraft ditched in the Bass Strait.
The men, aged in their 20s, were about 30km southwest of Flinders Island when their aircraft went down about 3pm on Monday.
The men were picked up by a small boat after they set off a distress beacon and were rescued in a dramatic and difficult operation by Ambulance Victoria.
Ambulance Victoria MICA flight paramedic Ben Meadley said there were concerns that the downwash from their helicopter was so strong that it could flip the small boat.
"With that in mind, we decided to put the men into a small dingy trailing behind the boat before I was put into the water and swam across to the men," Mr Meadley said.
The men were not seriously injured and suffered moderate hypothermia, some cuts and grazes from the impact and it is possible one of them also had a fracture to their lower leg, Mr Meadley said.
This accident highlighted the value of carrying a beacon, he said.
"They're an incredible asset that allows us to find you with pin point accuracy," Mr Meadley said.
The two men were flown to Launceston Hospital for further treatment.