In the early hours of Thursday the 4th of February 2016 the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received a call for assistance from those onboard a 12.6 metre Beneteau yacht “BIKINI BOTTOM” reporting a major steering failure after colliding with a reef on the outer break wall near King Island off the coast of Tasmania, Australia.
As the situation deteriorated, the crew of four reported that the yacht was taking on water and may have to be abandoned and the vessel’s GME MT600G EPIRB was activated.
Within minutes the GPS signal was located by AMSA and the search and rescue operation was underway with their Melbourne Dornier rescue aircraft and two additional helicopters dispatched.
The Melbourne Dornier arrived at the yacht’s location at 4:30am with two helicopters arriving shortly after.
The Tasmanian police advised AMSA that a local fishing vessel was in the vicinity of the stricken yacht and the vessel was diverted to the yacht’s location approximately 7.5 kilometres south east of Grassy Harbour where the four uninjured passengers were transferred onto the fishing vessel.
Unfortunately “BIKINI BOTTOM” sunk in approximately 45 metres of water around 10am on Thursday the 4th of February 2016 and was not able to be salvaged.
AMSA issued a media release regarding the rescue on the 4th of February 2016 which stated; “AMSA reminds people to carry a properly registered EPIRB or distress beacon while on the water. In this situation it was vital in providing a GPS location that assisted in the successful rescue of four people”.
More Australian rescues start with GME than with any other brand.