David Simpson, 64, has been rescued Tuesday after being thrown from his yacht while sailing the Pacific Ocean, according to ABC News.
Simpson was sailing by Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with his dog when he was thrown overboard after a strong wave hit his boat, ABC News reported.
Lifeguards at a nearby beach noticed the boat just after 4pm. They conducted a search of the vessel and no one was located on board. pic.twitter.com/jXT7Xa7tJ8
— Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) (@lifesavingqld) December 29, 2020
“The wave hit the side of the boat and I was trying to secure the dinghy, which had come a little bit adrift and a rope broke holding the dinghy. The dinghy hit me, my ribs and I fell about 2.5, 3 metres of the boat,” Simpson said, according to ABC News.
After being thrown from the boat, Simpson swam to a beacon a little over a mile away and began waving for help, according to ABC News.
Simpson could only watch as his boat and bull terrier, Mitch, floated away, per ABC News.
Lifeguards nearby noticed the abandoned yacht stuck on the shore, quickly leading to an air and sea search, per ABC News. (RELATED: Navy Searching For Suspected Man Overboard Off The USS Roosevelt)
Sunshine Coast Water Police called for help from volunteer marine rescue, as well as “six or seven boats and two helicopters,” according to Senior Constable Murray Lyons.
Simpson, desperate to be seen by a passerby, even took off his shorts to wave in the air in hopes of catching a sailor’s eye, according to CNN. “Maybe that’s why nobody stopped, because I was naked,” Simpson said, per CNN.
He will be reunited with his owner today, in the meantime he will be helping keep watch of beachgoers. pic.twitter.com/GSjoliBfEH
— Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) (@lifesavingqld) December 30, 2020
Ian Hunt of the Mooloolaba Coast Guard said Simspon was lucky to be found as the area he submerged in is fairly isolated, according to ABC News.
“This fellow is an experienced boatie but the message is that if you’re by yourself on a boat, it’s always a good thing to be wearing a life-jacket and possibly have a personal EPIRB or radio with you so if you do fall overboard, you can at least let someone know where you are,” Hunt said, per ABC News.