Bass Straight Rescue

Three sailors on route from Melbourne to Tasmania in an 11m twin-masted yacht were rescued on Tuesday after their boat was overwhelmed by rough seas in the Bass Strait.

The men set off their GPS encoded MT406G GME EPIRB which alerted AMSA to their location, 53 nautical miles south-west of Victoria’s Wilsons Promontory. The EPIRB was still registered to the previous owner. Luckily the GPS function enabled the rescuers to pinpoint the location of the yacht within minutes.

AMSA sent an emergency broadcast to ships in the area and despatched a Dornier search and rescue plane. A nearby cargo ship responded to the emergency broadcast and rescued the three men at 9.45pm. The sailors arrived in Melbourne early Wednesday morning. One man was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

This incident serves as a reminder to all EPIRB and PLB owners to ensure their contact details are up to date, and that their beacon is tested regularly. GME recommends a testing regime of once every four to six weeks.

The rescue story was published in the Hobart Mercury on Wednesday the 5th of February 2014.