Yacht aground on reef
A MAN and a woman were airlifted to safety by RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue after their yacht ran aground on Llewellyn Reef early yesterday morning.
Emergency services were notified at 5.30am of a distress beacon signal detected near Llewellyn Reef, about 90 nautical miles off the coast of Gladstone, and dispatched the chopper to investigate.
En route to the site, the rescue crew learned the yacht, the Pacific Vision, had run aground on the reef and had been taking on water. The vessel had also begun breaking up.
The two people onboard, a 45-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, had been sailing the yacht from San Diego to Bundaberg when they ran into trouble during the night after their main sail was torn.
They attempted to avoid the reef but were pushed onto it by the current, and further attempts to get the yacht off the reef failed after the mast broke.
The yacht began taking on water and breaking up. The pair abandoned the yacht and got into a liferaft.
By the time the helicopter rescuers arrived about 7.20am, the liferaft had drifted about 1.6km away from the reef. The survivors attracted the attention of the aircraft by setting off flares.
A rescue crewman was winched down to the life raft, and the two sailors were hoisted on to the aircraft.
The pair was in good health but was taken to Rockhampton Base Hospital as a precaution.
The yacht is still thought to be stuck on the reef.