Disabled yacht under tow from Pearl Bay
Disabled yacht under tow from Pearl Bay

5-day marathon rescue mission for coast guard

Coast Guard Yeppoon took on a large-scale rescue mission last week after the Skipper of a 27-foot yacht "Shara" reported losing lost his rudder on Tuesday.

The yacht was anchored three nautical miles northeast of Townsend Island, 115km north of Rosslyn Bay Harbour.

Yeppoon Rescue 1 departed the harbour at 3.30pm with Skipper Jim Warren and four crew, arriving on scene after dark at 6.30pm.

After some difficulty in connecting the tow rope, the yachtsman cut his anchor rope and the tow began. The winds were 20 knots and the seas were over three metres.

The unfavourable conditions and darkness combined with the lack of a rudder on the yacht causing it to yaw widely forced the crew and rescue to seek shelter in Pearl Bay and complete the trip to Rosslyn Bay when the weather improved.

Disabled yacht on tow line at sunrise in Pearl Bay
Disabled yacht on tow line at sunrise in Pearl Bay

It took five hours to get from the pick-up point to Pearl Bay (roughly 35km). While anchored in Pearl Bay for the night, the yacht was secured on the tow line until morning. At dawn it was still blowing hard, so the decision was made to leave the yacht in Pearl Bay until the weather improved and the yachtsman was able to deploy a spare anchor.

Yeppoon Rescue 1 then travelled back to Rosslyn Bay Harbour midday Wednesday - a 21 hours journey using 600 litres of fuel.

The weather was not forecast to moderate until Sunday and arrangements were made for Yeppoon Rescue 1 to leave Rosslyn Bay Harbour at 3am for Pearl Bay.

Skipper Darryl Greer and four crew arrived at Pearl Bay at 6.30am and started to tow the yacht south with light truck tyres were used to give the yacht some directional control.

Both vessels returned to Statue Bay at 4.40pm where the yacht was left safely at anchor as it could not enter the harbour.

The Coast Guard Yeppoon also conducted two more rescues on the weekend including a trip to Flat Island on Sunday morning to retrieve a boat with steering issues and another to Barren Island that afternoon.



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