Mr Whittaker jumped overboard and was pulled to security on a close-by ferry however Mr Gillard died.
9 Information Perth heard authorities try and make radio contact with the barge a number of instances after the collision, however every name was met with radio silence.
It’s nonetheless not clear whether or not the skipper was conscious of what had occurred earlier than he got here ashore.
Fremantle detectives have charged a 60-year-old barge skipper from Mullaloo with culpable driving inflicting loss of life and acts or omissions inflicting bodily hurt.
If discovered responsible, he may resist 10 years behind bars.
Michael Sier of Pelagic, the corporate that owns the Rottnest Barge gave an announcement to 9 Information Perth expressing their condolences.
“We’re all very unhappy and upset at this tragedy,” he stated.
“We proceed to increase our sympathy to the household.”
The 2 fishermen had been buddies for greater than 40 years earlier than what can be their remaining journey on January 9.
Family members stated they have been skilled boaties who all the time adopted the principles.
Mr Gillard’s youngsters described the 80-year-old on-line as an “absolute inspiration … and function mannequin”.
“Variety hearted, witty, beneficiant … and a stirrer extraordinaire,” they stated.
His spouse additionally posting a heartbreaking message.
“My first and solely real love,” she stated.
“You have been my the whole lot. Sleep peacefully ‘My John’.”
Mr Whittaker continues to be recovering from minor accidents following the tragedy.
Jerrie Demasi is 9 Information Perth’s senior crime reporter.