• US Yachtsman Missing, Presumed Dead In Mooloolaba

    The empty yacht washed up on Mooloolaba Beach.(ABC News: Owen Jacques)

    Empty yacht runs aground
    In a second, unrelated, marine incident, a body was found after an empty yacht ran aground at Mooloolaba Beach.

    Owen Jacques ABC News

    Mr Middleton said residents reported seeing someone fall from the boat near Maroochydore.

    "Some people from a resort are believed to have seen somebody fall off the yacht," he said.

    "They watched this person fall off as they were pulling the sail down."

    The yacht ran aground on the beach at the tourist destination with little damage, but with lights on and music playing.

    The first teams to board the vessel found a passport belonging to a 57-year-old man from the United States.

    Superintendent Craig Hawkins said initial investigations suggested the man is American.

    "The vessel is a US vessel. We are drawing some conclusions that the male located in the water has come off this particular boat but we are still running through inquiries to determine the exact circumstances," Superintendent Hawkins said.

    Authorities are unclear as to how the American vessel came to be in Sunshine Coast waters.

    "We don't have any firm movements of the vessel but certainly we will be speaking with customs and other port authorities to determine what movements it has had," he said.

    Queensland Police said it was working with the US consulate to notify the family.

    The Mooloolaba Coastguard have continued to search the area where the body was found.

    Ian Hunt from the Mooloolaba Coast Guard said they were unable to confirm if the person was alone on the yacht.

    The yacht has been towed back out to sea after running aground in Mooloolaba on Monday.(ABC News: Tara Cassidy)

    "Hopefully because they found the person only 500 meters off the beach it shouldn't be too hard to cover that area and verify there wasn't anyone else in the boat," he said

    Mr Hunt said the yacht had tracked from north of the area at Double Island Point towards Mooloolaba, with water police activating a search from Hervey Bay.

    "We got a call from a member of the public to say they had seen someone on the front of the yacht trying to get the sail down and so the assumption was they had fallen over during that exercise," he said.

    Initial investigations suggested the deceased person may have been in the water for up to two hours before being found.

    Mr Hunt said the search team have had to contend with rough seas and windy conditions throughout the morning, which have hampered search efforts.

    "[We've had] up to 25 knots which is about 50 kilometres per hour and it's about 2 to 2.5 metre seas ... so not very good for boating," Mr Hunt said.

    NOTE: The sailor involved appears to be Greg James of Roch Harbor, WA...
    This article was originally published in forum thread: US Yachtsman Missing, Presumed Dead In Mooloolaba started by Photoboy View original post