Rescue me, on my terms

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority didn’t know quite what to do with a solo sailor who set off a distress beacon and then wouldn’t be rescued, according to an article in Sail-World.com.

The sailor was on a 44-foot sailboat named Moonstar off the coast of Perth,Australia on Friday, June 27. When he ran into some heavy seas, he set off his EPIRB about 80 miles off the coast of Fremantle.

However, when a Safety Authority helicopter reached him, he refused to leave the yacht and be hoisted up into the aircraft, even though the motor would not start and there was significant damage to the rigging, rudder and steering, according to the report.

A merchant vessel that had been directed by authorities to Moonstar’s coordinates turned back after hearing the report. As the weather grew worse, a Western Australian Fisheries vessel attempting to tow Moonstar was forced to turn back to shore. The Safety Authority then lost contact with the sailor, and a search resumed, with the Fremantle Sea Rescue finally spotting the sailboat and towing her ashore, according to the report.

This may not be the first time Moonstar’s been in trouble. In November 2006, an Australian was rescued from a yacht named Moonstar found three nautical miles from Patong after being adrift for three weeks. The rescued man said he had lived off noodles and rainwater.

- Elizabeth Ellis