All that remains of a skipper’s boat after swells pummelled it off Fraser Island. The captain stayed with his ship until the end before eventually walking away uninjured.
All that remains of a skipper’s boat after swells pummelled it off Fraser Island. The captain stayed with his ship until the end before eventually walking away uninjured.

Sailor, boat fall victim to seas

A DETERMINED skipper unwilling to abandon ship was eventually forced to watch as seas battered his boat into submission off Fraser Island.

Mechanical failure is expected to be blamed for the boat's bitter end and its operator calling for assistance from island police.

The captain, believed to be from outside the region, first alerted authorities he was in trouble and requiring assistance on Monday morning.

Tin Can Bay and Sandy Strait Coast Guard volunteers attended the boat, which was stranded about 200m from shore, and close to where the Maheno famously beached in 1935.

Hervey Bay Water Police Sergeant Paul Bacon said the stricken ship was dangerously positioned and unable to be towed clear by rescuers.

He said the position of the boat - among breaking waves - forced its operator to drop anchor in an attempt to combat swells.

But the move ultimately proved hopeless with the vessel breaking into pieces as holiday-makers watched on.

"He was advised that if his situation deteriorated during the night to activate emergency signals - EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) or flares - which he did so just before 1am this morning," Sgt Bacon said.

"Essentially the vessel anchor has given way and the vessel has washed ashore where (the skipper) was assisted by Fraser Island Police."



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