Marine group in dra­matic sea res­cue

Pilbara News - - News - Bran­wen Smith

■ Ex­mouth Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue Group re­sponded to a call for help from 12m-yacht Crack­lin Rosie when her mast broke at 2.45am on Septem­ber 30.

The yacht was stranded 20 nau­ti­cal miles west of Yardie Creek on the North West Cape with three men, Don­ald Burn­side, Jim Mur­ray and Jim Cross­land, all in their 60s, on board.

No one was in­jured dur­ing the in­ci­dent and the yacht re­mained up­right and wa­ter­tight through­out.

The men had bought the Crack­lin Rosie in Her­vey Bay, Queens­land, and were sail­ing her around the top end of Aus­tralia to Perth when the in­ci­dent oc­curred.

EVMRG deputy com­man­der Ge­orge Sim­mons skip­pered res­cue ves­sel Nin­ga­loo En­deav­our 60 nau­ti­cal miles from Ex­mouth to the yacht with fel­low EVMRG vol­un­teers John Beer and Rosco Gar­dan.

EVMRG com­man­der Rusty El­lis was not in Ex­mouth when the in­ci­dent oc­curred, but main­tained ra­dio con­tact with the crew through­out the res­cue.

Strength­en­ing winds slowed the En­deav­our to 10 knots as she made her way to the stricken ves­sel, even­tu­ally ar­riv­ing about 10am.

Mr Sim­mons said 1.5m of the yacht’s mast, with sails still at­tached, was drag­ging in the wa­ter.

“Lines hang­ing in the wa­ter were wrapped around the rud­der and we were con­cerned steel ca­bles could be­come tan­gled in the yacht’s pro­pel­lers and cause dam­age so the yacht’s en­gines could not be started,” he said.

The res­cue crew took heavy­duty bolt­cut­ters with them in the hope of cut­ting the ca­bles loose, but Mr Sim­mons said the seas were too big so he de­cided to tow the yacht to land with the sails stream­ing out in the wa­ter be­hind it.

At first, The En­deav­our crew towed the yacht at six knots, but when the tow rope broke they were forced to de­crease speed to just four knots, tak­ing six-and-ahalf hours to reach the near­est safe moor­ing at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp at 5pm.

The En­deav­our crew then made their way back to Ex­mouth, ar­riv­ing just af­ter 6pm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.