Australian frigate rescues three from stricken yacht

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta rescued three South African sailors from a yacht which lost its mast in rough sea approximately 1,300 kilometres southwest of Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia.

The three yachtsmen of a 13-metre yacht activated an emergency response beacon late on March 17 intending to abandon the vessel.

The resuce was coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and to get to the sailors as quickly and safely as possible, the warship was retasked to sail to the yacht’s position.

Parramatta’s Seahawk helicopter sighted the yacht late in the afternoon of March 18, established communications and assessed the conditions to require rescue by air.

In a heavy south westerly swell, the men were rescued by the Navy aircrew, by being winched onboard the helicopter before being transferred to Parramatta.

Once safely onboard Parramatta the three sailors were assessed as being in good health by the ship’s medical team. They were provided with clean clothes, food and the opportunity to contact family.