Patrick Woods

Sailors rescued after their yacht capsizes

FIVE sailors were in the lead of a yacht race when they were flung into the water after one of the pontoons of their trimaran snapped off yesterday afternoon.

The Mooloolaba Coast Guard, surf lifesavers and the Mooloolaba Jet Boat were on hand to assist after the Sunshine Coast Yacht Club members' trimaran flipped about 1pm near the Maroochy River mouth.

The men were wearing life jackets and able to climb on board the upturned vessel.

Two sailors, one with a bump to the head, were taken to shore by jetski while the others helped the Coast Guard to secure towing lines.

Commander Ian Hunt said the combination of 20-knot winds and two-metre swells had snapped arms holding a side pontoon. "This was a catastrophic error, not an error of judgment," he said. "They have a big repair bill ahead of them. They lost their mast and everything, but at least they were all safe."

Cmdr Hunt said they had a slow two-knot trip back as the broken pontoon was repeatedly pushed underwater.


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