Man cries for help as yacht sinks

A MAN cried for help as his seven-metre yacht started sinking off the coast north of Yeppoon yesterday afternoon.

At 4pm he activated a distress beacon.

His single-mast yacht “Calliope” had lost power and was drifting aimlessly when he raised the alarm.

Rescue crews said “his boat is taking on water faster than he can bail it out”.

The Capricorn Rescue Helicopter lifted from Rockhampton to travel to the sinking boat, near Townsend Island, which is north of Yeppoon.

But because the Rockhampton chopper was not equipped for winch rescues, it called in the help of the Mackay-based RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter.

A Singaporean rescue helicopter, which had been stationed in Rockhampton, was also sent to the location where it monitored the situation and was in place to winch the man if the situation became life-threatening.

Initially the rescue crews thought the man had been transferred to a dinghy but later confirmed he was still on board the sinking yacht.

Despite having three helicopters on the scene it was the Yeppoon Coastguard that rescued the man.

- Kieran Campbell

His boat is taking on water faster than he can bail it out


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