Two sailors rescued from Waining Reef in North Queensland


At 9.40 am this morning, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received a call from the Lizard Island Resort in North Queensland, about a 16-metre sailing vessel aground on Waining Reef, 26 km north west of Lizard Island.

The sailing vessel, with two people on board, broadcast a mayday on VHF after running aground on the reef, which was received by Lizard Island staff. The resort sent a vessel to assist the grounded ketch and another nearby private craft responded to the mayday.

AMSA tasked the QG Air Rescue helicopter from Cairns and AMSA’s Cairns-based Challenger rescue aircraft to assist.

Before the helicopter rescue could be carried out, the yacht began to further list to one side, due to the 1.5-2m swell breaking on the reef and 40km/h winds. The crew of the boat then entered the water and were collected by a tender from one of the assisting vessels.

The rescued crew were taken to Lizard Island and are believed to be in good health.

AMSA will continue to monitor the vessel and work with Queensland authorities and the owners of the vessel, to minimise any risks to the environment.

Video footage is available for download here:

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