The owner of the rescued Margrel, Goolwa's Tony Higgins, stays on his boat after ordeal

Staying at sea: Police speak to Goolwa fisherman Tony Higgins aboard the Margrel on Thursday afternoon. Mr Higgins remains anchored off Granite Island, as of Friday afternoon, September 11. Photo: Jack Manning.
Staying at sea: Police speak to Goolwa fisherman Tony Higgins aboard the Margrel on Thursday afternoon. Mr Higgins remains anchored off Granite Island, as of Friday afternoon, September 11. Photo: Jack Manning.

While Derek Robinson took up the option to leave the rescued Margrel to be with concerned family and friends on Thursday, owner of the boat Tony Higgins remained on the vessel, saying he is shocked at all the "fuss".

Goolwa fishermen Mr Robinson, 46, and Mr Higgins, 57, were rescued after being missing at sea south of Port Lincoln for nearly a week.

The men initially left Coffin Bay in the 30-foot wooden-hulled fishing boat bound for Goolwa about 3pm on Thursday, September 3 and six days later were found at Salt Creek, more than 200km from their destination.

On Thursday the pair were towed to Victor Harbor by Police Water Operations Units.

In emotional scenes, Mr Robinson was escorted to waiting family members at the Bluff Boat Ramp about 2pm, while Mr Higgins remained aboard his vessel the Margrel, which was anchored off Granite Island.

Mr Robinson embraced his sons as he stepped onto dry land and said he was very emotional after the miracle survival.

"Everybody here right now is who I care about," Mr Robinson said.

"This is very emotional, my legs are still wobbly... we never realised everyone was out looking for us."

Mr Higgins remained aboard the boat and was shocked by the public and media attention.

Encounter Bay fisherman David Turner took media crews to the Margrel to meet Mr Higgins on Thursday evening.

On the water: Encounter Bay fisherman Dave Turner spoke to rescued boatie Tony Higgins on Thursday evening, when he ferried media crews to waters off Granite Island. Photo: Supplied.

On the water: Encounter Bay fisherman Dave Turner spoke to rescued boatie Tony Higgins on Thursday evening, when he ferried media crews to waters off Granite Island. Photo: Supplied.

"Tony seemed an interesting character and certainly seemed to know what he was doing on his boat," Mr Turner said.

Mr Higgins said everything was under control.

"We didn't need to be rescued. I have been at sea many times and it is not my first rodeo," Mr Higgins said.

"I am very thankful to everyone who cared and conducted the search. The only problem we really had was knocking off a blade of the propeller and this slowed us.

"I really do not know why there is so much fuss."

Mr Higgins was charged with some offences such as having expired flares and EPIRB and holding an inappropriate licence. He was issued with a $1000 fine.

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