Six people rescued from sinking yacht off Flinders Island

Six people have been winched from a 16 metre yacht off Flinders Island, North East of Tasmania. 

The rescue was coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra after a mayday call was intercepted by Marine Rescue Eden in NSW on Sunday morning. 

It is understood the vessel was on its return journey after completing the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. 

The mayday call was made after the yacht started taking on water, after losing its rudder.

The vessel is now adrift and is likely to sink. 

The incident marks the second emergency call intercepted by Marine Rescue Eden since the Boxy Day race, following the retirement of German yacht Rockall, who suffered a broken rudder.  

Operations Manager of Marine NSW, Glenn Sullivan, said the activation of the yacht’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon played a vital role in the rescue efforts. 

“The crew were instructed to activate their EPIRB and that was probably the one thing that saved them,” he said. 

“The device gave an exact location and certainly this is an example of the importance of having the right emergency equipment.”