RESCUE: The Courtesan aground at Moore Park Beach.
RESCUE: The Courtesan aground at Moore Park Beach. Mike Knott BUN300317COURTESAN14

Dramatic rescue as yacht washes aground in wild weather

WILD seas whipped up by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie washed a yacht aground on Moore Park Beach today.

The skipper of the yacht, the Courtesan, was severely injured while sailing in rough seas and was unable to pilot the boat.

The owner, who was also aboard, was uninjured during the ordeal.

Moore Park resident Russell Stewart was the first on the scene and alerted the authorities just after noon.

"I secured the vessel back on to shore, on (to) the back of my truck and then proceeded to offload the owner," he said.

"The skipper of the vessel was injured inside the cabin so we stabilised him and assessed his injuries, made him comfortable and waited for the emergency services to arrive.

"The vessel is well and truly grounded."


Swiftwater rescue officer Jonathon Blackley said that on arrival the weather was extreme with driving rain hampering the rescue.

"It's an approximately 12m long yacht and the person was injured," he said.

"He had damage to his ribs and abdomen."

Mr Blackley said before the skipper was removed from the yacht by Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and some locals, Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics administered pain relief.

He was then carried from the yacht and put on the back of a ute and taken to an ambulance.

While there was some damage to the inside and sails of the yacht, Mr Blackley said overall the vessel wasn't too badly damaged.

Two workers from Bundaberg Regional Council's parks department working at Moore Park Beach also became central to the rescue of the Brisbane-based yachties.

A council spokesman said the sailors had set out from Brisbane evidently unaware of the severe weather further up the coast.

"They ran into the teeth of the storm and their boat was eventually beached at the northern end of Moore Park Beach," he said.

"The two council workers, Brett Rycen and Brendan Whalley, were engaged in closing a 4WD track on to the beach when they noticed the vessel.

"A call was placed to Volunteer Marine Rescue who said the conditions were too severe for them to assist.

They forwarded the request to Swift Water Rescue who attended the scene.

"The council workers remained with the men until help arrived."

Authorities are still working out how to recover the vessel.

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