Man dies, two rescued after yacht capsizes on Great Barrier Reef

The overturned yacht off Lady Elliot Island. Supplied by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue The overturned yacht off Lady Elliot Island. Image courtesy of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue.

One man has died, and two others were rescued after their yacht capsized, prompting a large search and rescue operation off Australia’s Queensland coast.

The vessel overturned four nautical miles off Lady Elliot Island near Gladstone on Sunday morning (16 June), reportedly due to a snapped keel.

The yacht encountered difficulties near Coral Cay, part of the Great Barrier Reef, while en route from Yeppoon to Brisbane. The men activated an emergency position indicating radio beacon shortly afterwards.

Police and emergency services initiated a rescue operation shortly before 8.30am, deploying multiple vessels, police divers, and the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter, and located the vessel at 10.15am.

“Less than two hours later, the aeromedical crew located the men and executed two separate winch rescues, hoisting them individually into the aircraft,” LifeFlight reports.

The search and rescue operation involved multiple vessels, police divers and the rescue helicopter. Supplied by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue
The search and rescue operation involved multiple vessels and a rescue helicopter. Image courtesy of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue

The rescued individuals, a father and son aged 62 and 27, were transported by helicopter to Bundaberg Hospital, where they remain in stable condition.

The body of the third man, aged 65, was recovered by police shortly after 2pm. Authorities are preparing a report for the coroner.

Police said all three men were from Yeppoon.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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