Two men and pet's sailing trip turns to cat-tastrophe
AN ATTEMPT to sail to Victoria has ended as an overnight rescue mission for two men and their ginger cat after anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received a call for help from the eastern side of Fraser Island about midnight when the pair's 38 foot vessel ran into trouble.
A sail had torn only about 250km into the long trip from Yeppoon to Geelong, and when they tried to start up the motor so they could travel to safety, it failed too.
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue air crew officer Shayne White said the men had dropped an anchor but the rope attached to the vessel became damaged, due to big swells at an estimated 8-10 feet.
"Big sets were catching the boat and the rope tore to the end of its tether," he said.
AMSA contacted LifeFlight just after 1am and the Bundaberg rescue helicopter sprang into action.
Upon arrival, emergency crews deemed the pair to be in a safe enough condition to watch as the vessel washed ashore, as it was too dangerous to perform a winching manoeuvre in the dark.
"We decided to leave the light on them as the boat washed into the beach and just kept in communication via radio," Mr White said.
The two men and Soy Boy - their cat who had been securely locked in the glove box during the whole ordeal - were flown from the beach to the main land.
The pair told the LifeFlight crew they were making the trip to Victoria as a favour to the skipper's daughter.
"He jokingly told us she's probably going to be annoyed when she sees it on the news!," Mr White said.