A sailor stranded at sea for a terrifying 12 hours in shark infested waters has been rescued.
American tourist Levi Verwosetan, 29, was sailing up the Australian east cost near Cape Palmerston, about 40kms south of Queensland’s Mackay, when his catamaran capsized on Wednesday night.
‘Shortly after sunset yesterday I noticed the boat slowing down and I went out on deck and the hatch cover was missing allowing water to flow in,’ he told 7 News.
American tourist Levi Verwosetan, 29, was sailing up the Australian east cost near Cape Palmerston, about 40kms south of Queensland’s Mackay, when his catamaran ran into trouble on Wednesday night
RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter Service answered the emergency call and moments later rescued the stranded Hawaii-product on Thursday morning
By the time Mr Verwosetan realised what was happening it was too late. In less than a minute the boat had capsized with all his belongings on board.
A quick-thinking Mr Verwosetan managed to climb onto the hull of the boat and camp out in his dinghy overnight.
‘I was waiting on calling on support because I was hoping to make an attempt to right the boat, but that was just a waste of my time,’ he said.
Unable to activate the emergency beacon (EPIRB) because it was too dark, the sleep deprived sailor battled through the terrors of the night.
At the first sign of light on Thursday he managed to activate the beacon.
RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter Service answered the call and moments later rescued the stranded Hawaii-product.
Mr Verwosetan has been sailing on his vessel for the better part of three years, living on a diet of fish he caught and goats he hunted on the region’s islands.
He said that prior to this incident nothing had ever gone wrong.
RACQ CQ Rescue crewman Arno Schoonwinkel told Daily Mercury Mr Verwosetan was a cautionary tale on the importance of the emergency beacon
And a near-death experience has done anything but turn the sailor off his life’s calling.
‘I still love sailing, I still want to go back.’
RACQ CQ Rescue crewman Arno Schoonwinkel told Daily Mercury Mr Verwosetan was a cautionary tale on the importance of the emergency beacon.
‘It is extremely important to have an EPIRB with you.’
‘He was out there for 12 hours.
‘Unfortunately, it did take a while for him to activate it because it was dark – but as soon as it was activated we were there in 20 minutes.’