Novice yachtie tells of boat sinking off Gladstone

Phillip Atkinson and the Justa Gypsy had just three weeks to get to know each other before they were the subject of a midnight rescue by the Gladstone Volunteer Marine Rescue. Mr Atkinson, 61, bought the yacht and went from “land lubber to ship master in a day”.

Three weeks later his boat had sunk near Facing Island.

The 33ft ferro cement yacht was sailing from Rosslyn Bay to Gladstone using an outboard motor on a tinny tied to the side of the boat and sails that “didn't steer too well”.

When he bought the yacht for $1200 on October 27, the anchor was the only working part.

Mr Atkinson said he had been heading south passed Facing Island to enter the channel in the dark. He said he drifted north while he retied the tinny.

“It just went crunch and I'd run aground,” he said. “I tried to give the motor a real go but it was stuck.”

The VMR went out to him but it was too shallow to reach the Justa Gypsy, so he decided to sleep until the tide came in.

For full story head to The Observer.  
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