Tasmania Police were alerted to a 25ft sailing sloop which had activated its Emergency Position Indicating Radio Bacon (EPIRB) off the West Coast at about 11.30pm on Friday the 3rd of December 2021. The EPIRB was activated after the vessel came into difficulty due to high winds and heavy seas experienced overnight.
As the solo yachtsman had the EPIRB registered with AMSA, the AMSA Response Centre in Canberra had access to the details on the yacht and occupant, so they had a better understanding of the situation.
The AMSA Challenger jet from Melbourne was sent to the scene and the vessel was located approximately 6nm off Point Hibbs, which is approximately 25nm south of Macquarie Harbour (Strahan). The Westpac Rescue helicopter and a fishing vessel, that was in the area, were also dispatched. The yachtsman, a 76 year old Zeehan man, was rescued without incident and the vessel taken under tow to Point Hibbs.
A/Inspector Anthea Maingay of the Central West Division urges people who are undertaking such trips on the water to be aware of the weather and ensure all the vessel’s equipment is in good working order with enough provisions and fuel for the trip, as well as extra for safety.
Tasmania Police would like to acknowledge the invaluable assistance provided by the professional fisherman, Dan Hursey and his crew member Jamie Gordon, in this rescue.