YESTERDAY Marine Rescue Bundaberg was called to the assistance of a 13.7m yacht with a disabled engine and major electrical problems.

Marine Rescue skipper Graham Kingston indicated the yacht's problems were first identified on Tuesday afternoon when the vessel was north of Round Hill. 

The skipper of the yacht said he was heading for the Gold Coast through Sandy Straits if the engine could be started or alternatively outside Fraser Island. 

However a call for assistance was received at 11.30am on Wednesday as the engine could not be restarted due to water in the fuel and slow progress meant the skipper did not want to risk entering the Burnett River after midnight with no engine and because low battery capacity would preclude ability to raise a heavy anchor. 

Mr Kingston said that while the yacht could still sail the decision to assist in daylight hours was influenced by increasing reports of whales in several areas of Hervey Bay.

Bundy Rescue arrived at the vessel approximately eight miles east of Baffle Creek and 18.5 miles north of the Burnett channel at 2pm and towed the yacht to Burnett Heads in moderate to slight seas for docking at the Port Bundaberg Marina at 6.45pm. 

The two very relieved crew members of the yacht indicated they had siphoned 4.5L of water from the diesel tank, but the engine would still not start. 

It was also observed the vessel's electrical problems had also cut power to navigation and masthead lights, which would have posed additional risks to night time navigation.

Mr Kingston said it was unusual for so much water to accumulate in a fuel tank unless the vessel had not been operated for a very long time. 

Commercial fuel additives are available to preserve fuel quality and allow small amounts of water to be processed by engines.



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