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Old 08-01-2009, 11:28 AM   #1
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ABC NEWS AUSTRALIA REPORT :-

Race organisers relieved by yacht's rescue

Posted 6 hours 43 minutes ago

An organiser of the Darwin to Ambon yacht race says it is a relief the Australian Maritime Safety Authority was able to contact a cargo ship to rescue the race winners.

Cole Wilesmith and Jim Grieson were returning home when the beam between the hulls of their catamaran Mai Tai cracked, in rough seas 800 kilometres north of Darwin.

The Maritime Safety Authority says Indonesian authorities did not have any vessels in the area and had to arrange a nearby cargo ship to rescue the men.

Peter Suitor from the Dinah Beach Yacht Association says losing the yacht is a big disappointment for the men, who are now being taken to China.

"It's just whoever's in the area ... it's important to get someone to them and get them out of the water if they're in the water or rescue them," he said.

"In this case I think it's a Chinese freighter and its next port of call is somewhere in China, so no doubt it's inconvenient, but they're alive
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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ABC Australia Update

Australians rescued from stricken catamaran

Posted Sat Aug 1, 2009 5:11am AEST

Updated Sat Aug 1, 2009 5:20am AEST

Two Australian sailors taking part in a yacht race have been found safe after an international rescue was launched when they realised their catamaran was damaged, more than 800 kilometres off the coast of Darwin.

Late yesterday morning, the crew found a crack in the beams which hold together the two hulls and a Liberian-owned ship was sent to rescue them.

The catamaran, which was competing in a race from Darwin to Ambon in Indonesea, was on its return journey when its crew found the damage.

The men were instructed to keep moving for safety reasons, while a ship was sent to meet them.

Tracey Jiggins, spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), says the rescue was never going to be a quick one.

"Unfortunately when we first notified the merchant vessel, it was about 7.5 hours away from the location of Mai Tai," she said.

"But that was the closest vessel and the closest asset ourselves or Indonesia had to the missing vessel."

An AMSA spokesperson says the rescued crew is now being taken to China by the cargo ship that rescued them.

"The two men have been taken on board Gerasimos and they're now on their way to Long Kou in China, which was the destination of the vessel before it diverted," the spokesperson said.

Ms Jiggins says the rescue was a success.

"They notified I think race organisers, they then notified us, we notified the appropriate authorities in Indonesia," she said.

"We were then able to get in contact directly with the vessel itself, so that we could ascertain the exact nature of the distress that they were in, so it all went according to plan all the communication channels worked very well."

The catamaran was left at sea and it will be some time before the men return to Australia.
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