Australian yacht leaves harbour when a hurricane warning is issued


In Australian right now every suggestion as to the intelligence of this yacht owner and his crew in Australia is unprintable, writes Rob Mundle. At the same time some of the highest profile yachties in the country want to find out who the owner is so they can tell him in no uncertain fashion what they think about his display of extremely bad seamanship.

Here’s the scene setter: Since last Thursday the south-east corner of Queensland and the northern part of NSW have been hammered by winds of near hurricane force. Waves have been in excess of seven metres, and the associated rain has brought the highest flood levels in more than two decades. Conditions were so bad that no one in their right mind would consider putting to sea — but this guy decided he knew better!

On this particular afternoon the guys in the Volunteer Marine Rescue tower at the Southport Seaway – which is the entrance to the Gold Coast Broadwater – recorded a wind gust out of the south-east at 68 knots. At the same time the sea state at the entrance to the narrow Seaway was horrendous, thanks in no small way to the ebbing floodwaters…

Still, these conditions were not enough to stop this yet to be identified yachtie from heading out with his Jeanneau for a ‘cruise’ north to Yeppoon.

The pictures, taken by photographer Adam Head of the Gold Coast Bulletin, say it all. Apparently, when the yacht was literally launched off the first big wave and knocked down, the engine stalled. Fortunately the crew managed to get the bow away and turn her back for port, at the same time unfurling the headsail so they had some momentum.

The one bit of good news for every local yachtie was that there was a welcoming committee waiting for these guys when they re-entered the Broadwater: the water police!

Suggestion that charges may be laid have been welcomed by everyone, especially after some of the photos indicated that those on board might not have been wearing life jackets or safety harnesses.

To see more photos, click here .