Two yachtsmen come a cropper in CQ waters
A LONE yachtman severely injured his hand while using his anchor and motor to move closer to shore in unfavourable conditions on the weekend.
It was the second time the yachtsman had required help in Central Queensland waters, and the second solo yatchsman Coast Guard Yeppoon helped in a week.
The coast guard’s busy weekend started at 12.30pm on Tuesday when the coast guard was asked to assist police when the solo skipper of the 12ft yacht reported engine problems to triple zero near Townsend Island off Shoalwater Bay.
Yeppoon Rescue One departed Rosslyn Bay Harbour at 1.10pm and headed north and later found the distressed yacht 11km northwest of Townshend Island at 4.32pm. The boat towed to Rosslyn Bay Harbour 130km away at a rate of just 6 knots, as it was not possible to tow the yacht hulls at high speed.
The overnight towing was made possible due to the Coast Guard vessel being fitted with cooking facilities, a refrigerator, toilet and mattresses. The vessel made it to Statue Bay, outside the harbour by 5.30am.
After assisting the yachtsman to anchor, the rescue vessel tied up in the harbour at 6am after a 17-hour-long operation. The next morning the yacht was towed into Roslyn bay harbour.
A second lone yachtsman en route to Townsville after recently purchasing a second-hand yacht at Tin Can Bay, experienced the perils of sea travel twice last week.
On Wednesday afternoon, he anchored his yacht in Statue Bay and sought to dingy to the Lammermoor Beach Servo for supplies.
However, the rough conditions prevented the man from returning to his yacht and he returned to the beach. Yeppoon Rescue One met the dinghy a short distance off the beach just after 5pm and towed the dinghy back to the yacht.
On Friday, the same yachtsman headed north in unfavourable conditions but got into trouble near the headland off Corio Bay.
He dropped anchor and made a mayday call by radio and he was advised by Flotilla Commander Jim Warren to set off his distress beacon.
Police activated the RACQ Capricorn Rescue helicopter, a fixed wing search plane from Cairns, while the Coast Guard Yeppoon also launched into action.
While waiting for rescue the yachtsman was able to use his anchor and motor to move closer to shore, but while doing this one of his hands was severely injured by the anchor chain, so bad in fact he was manual winch to raise his anchor.
Yeppoon Rescue one with skipper Barry Semple left Rosslyn Bay Harbour at 2pm, heading north at 24 knots.
The helicopter guided the rescue vessel to the yacht at 2.35pm.
Due to the rough conditions it was not possible to raft up to the yacht and a tow line was passed to the yacht.
The anchor prevented the yacht from being towed and the yachtsman was unable to cut the chain but some clever advice from the Coast Guard saved the day. They told the man to make a noose around the anchor chain with the tow line and the anchor was raised and the noose slid down the chain as the rescue vessel moved ahead.
The vessel was towed Corio Bay to be anchored off Considine Beach at North Keppel Island at 5.30pm where it be protected from the conditions.
The anchor was able to be deployed and set by Yeppoon Rescue One to assist the injured mariner who was then transported to Rosslyn Bay Harbour, arriving at 6.15pm where he was met by paramedics.
On Saturday afternoon, during a training operation on Yeppoon Rescue One, the young mariner and his dog were returned to his yacht at Considine Beach.
Last week’s escapades mark the third rescued yacht in as many weeks for the Coast Guard Yeppoon.