LESLIE Brown and his partner Crystal Buttenshaw went to sleep floating on the waters off Keppel Sands beach on Tuesday night.

Early yesterday morning the pair woke up in their 9.7m (32ft) yacht more than a kilometre away from where they anchored, stranded on dry land.

Leslie, a Keppel Sands resident, anchored his boat off the main beach with plans to sail towards the Fitzroy River the next day but had been dragged up onto the beach during the night. The Rockhampton Bureau of Meteorology told The Morning Bulletin yesterday it had released strong wind warnings for the past three nights.

According to the bureau, 22-knot winds were recorded at 11pm Tuesday.

"We were planning to sail up to Rockhampton and anchor the boat in the river so I could fix it up because I've only had it for two weeks and it needs some work," Leslie said.

"We moved it from Coorooman Creek on Tuesday afternoon but we didn't realise what the weather was going to be like, otherwise we wouldn't have moved it.

"It was a bit of a shock to wake up on the sand and have to wait all day for the tide to come back in.

"A lot of people came down in the morning to see if we were okay and took photos of our boat stranded so we had a lot of visitors."

Leslie, 24, said he bought the boat to use as a holiday home and had plans to renovate it in the coming months.

"I bought it for $3000 just for a bit of fun and something to do on weekends," he said.

"I really want to cruise in the future but for now I'm just keen to get off this beach."

Leslie and Crystal had planned to push the boat back into the ocean with the help of some friends during high tide last night about 8pm.



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