24th February 2018
TheAustralian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has ended search operations for amissing crew member from the racing yacht Finistere, which capsized 11nautical miles southwest of Mandurah in Western Australia overnight.
Thebody of the missing crew member was located by the Department of Fire andEmergency Services (DFES) Dauphin helicopter at 12.30pm AWST today, andrecovered by Fremantle Water Police.
AMSAdetected a distress beacon at 11.45pm AWST last night (23 February 2018) whichwas registered to the 15 metre yacht Finistere with six people on board.The yacht’s crew were participating in the Bunbury and Return Ocean Race.
Attemptsto contact the yacht directly via radio were unsuccessful and the yacht’stracker failed to update at 12am AWST.
AMSAadvised the Fremantle Water Police of the incident and tasked the DFES RACRescue helicopter 652. The helicopter arrived on scene at 12.30am AWST andsighted an overturned yacht in the water.
Twoother yachts participating in the race, Huckleberry and FourthDimension, arrived on scene around the same time.
Theassisting yachts recovered five of the six crew members from the water. Sadlyone person was deceased.
AMSAcoordinated a search for the sixth crew member using a number of aviation andmarine assets, including the DFES RAC Rescue helicopters 652 and 651 as well asthe DFES Dauphin helicopter with air observers from Melville and BassendeanState Emergency Service on board.
AWest Australian Police helicopter and an additional helicopter also providedassistance during the search, as did the Fremantle Water Police, Mandurah,Rockingham and Bunbury Volunteer Marine Rescue crews and two yachts from therace, Fourth Dimension and Circa.
Followingthe recovery of the sixth crew member’s body from the water at 12.30pm AWSTtoday, the search operation has ended.
AMSAwould like to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Finistere’screw. AMSA would also like to thank all parties involved in today’sextensive search.
Theincident has been referred to police who will prepare a report for the coroner. —