Storm-stricken “Moonstar’ found

AUSTRALIA (ABC, Perth Now): A search plane this morning found the missing 13.5-meter sailing yacht Moonstar, which was badly damaged in a storm on Friday night and began taking on water.

The yacht is believed to be about 140 kilometers off Fremantle, south of Perth.

The yacht is also believed to be the same Moonstar that was rescued off Patong by Phuket Marine Police in November 2006 after skipper Rocky Donald, now 53, spent three weeks adrift living on instant noodles and rainwater [click here for full story].

Australian authorities have yet to publicly confirm whether the yachtsman on board the stricken Moonstar is Mr Donald.

However, it has been confirmed that a sailor on board is not injured. He set off distress beacons and an Australian Maritime Safety Authority aircraft from Perth spotted him this morning, reported Nick Talyor of “Perth Now”.

Crew spoke to the sailor, but he told them he would not leave the yacht that has sustained damage to its rigging, rudder and steering, adding that its engine will not start.

The Perth-based aircraft was due to fly back to the area this afternoon to warn the man that rescuers would not be able to reach him for some time if his situation worsened.

A Western Australia Fisheries vessel from Fremantle was on its way to the yacht but was forced to turn back at lunchtime about 15-20 nautical miles out because of bad weather.

Phuket News

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