Trio rescued after yacht rolled in rough seas off Jurien Bay

Three men have been rescued off the Western Australian coast after their yacht rolled in rough seas early Tuesday morning.

The trio had been sailing from Carnarvon to Perth and thought they would be just ahead of the severe weather warning when they got caught up in five-metre swells about five nautical miles off Jurien Bay at 1am.

They activated their EPIRB and Jurien Bay Marine Rescue volunteer Mike Cockburn jumped out of bed to carry out the rescue.

Conditions were pretty bad, up to five-metre swell, we had a 30-knot westerly wind blowing, so conditions were pretty treacherous, he told Radio 6PR.

When we found them there was a mast hanging off the boat, the middle-aged and younger gentlemen were both in an inflatable life raft and the elderly gentleman was still on the yacht at that stage.

It took a little bit of getting in certain positions in the vessel to get close enough to the life raft to get them on board. The gentleman still on the yacht – [we threw] a life ring in the water, he jumped from that onto the life ring and then we pulled him into our vessel.

Cockburn said the trio had come in closer to land after one of the men began to feel unwell.

In the dead of night, it took him about 30 minutes to find the men after tracking the EPIRB, which was moving around in the rough seas.

In a statement, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the men were uninjured.

It’s understood the vessel had been travelling from Carnarvon to Jurien Bay and had overturned during the night before righting itself, it read.

The crew activated the emergency beacon shortly afterwards. AMSA sincerely thanks the partner agencies involved, including Volunteer Marine Rescue Jurien Bay and local water police.

The yacht had to be abandoned and later washed up on shore.

A Bureau of Meteorology alert warned wild weather was due to hit the WA coast on Monday night.

The widespread damaging wind risk is most likely along the west coast south of Jurien Bay [on Monday night], the warning read.

Locally destructive wind gusts in excess of 125 km/h are also possible associated with thunderstorm activity. Heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is possible for locations south of Lancelin, extending from the coast to the Darling Scarp, becoming less likely early Tuesday morning.

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