Wednesday, August 31, 2005
A rescue is being coordinated tonight for a yacht which sent out distress calls in stormy weather in the Great Australian Bight.
It is hoped a ship can be diverted to rescue the crew of the stricken yacht and a US Air Force plane has been diverted to maintain watch over the vessel. The two people aboard the 12-metre motor-sailer sent out a mayday call which was picked-up by Melbourne radio earlier this evening. Soon after the yacht's position was pinpointed when an EPIRB was activiated. The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra despatched a US KC-19 Air Force plane to the scene which was enroute from Richmond in NSW to Pearce in Western Australia. Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman, Tracy Jiggins, says the aircraft has made radio contact with those on the yacht which is outside helicopter rescue range. "Apparently the weather out there is not very good at this stage and the vessel had in fact rolled in those conditions," she said. "There's two people on board...I don't have details about their ages or who they actually are but they're both okay."