SYDNEY – Air Canada is being credited with helping rescue officials pinpoint the location of a yacht in trouble off he coast of Australia.
A solo yachtsman left Pittwater, on Sydney’s northern beaches, two weeks ago heading for Eden on the New South Wales south coast.
Australian media reports an emergency beacon was activated early today with the man reporting that his boat had been drifting away from land since last week.
Because of the remote location, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority asked two airliners passing over the man’s GPS position to help confirm his whereabouts.
An Air Canada Boeing 777 flying to Sydney from Vancouver subsequently diverted from its courses to check on the distressed yacht about 435 kilometres east of Sydney. An Air New Zealand A320, heading to Sydney from New Zealand also went off course to locate the yacht.
With the boat’s location confirmed, a police vessel was dispatched to the demasted yacht, which was running low on fuel and drifting further out to sea.
A maritime safety official says police will make a judgment call when they arrive as to whether the man needs to abandon ship.