Crew member dies as search continues after yacht capsizes off Mandurah

Crew member dies as search continues after yacht capsizes off Mandurah

A PERSON died and four people were rescued after a yacht participating in the Bunbury and Return Ocean Race overturned off Mandurah overnight.

The search continues for a missing crew member.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority detected a distress beacon at 11.45pm from the 15m yacht Finistere.

There were six people on board the yacht participating in the race, which was hosted by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

 The yacht was about 11 nautical miles southwest of Mandurah.

Attempts to contact the yacht by radio were unsuccessful and the yacht’s tracker failed to update at midnight.

AMSA advised Fremantle Water Police of the incident and tasked the Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services RAC Rescue helicopter, which was conducting a training flight in the area, to respond shortly after 1am.

Passengers on the helicopter saw the overturned yacht in the water at 1.30am.

Two other yachts participating in the race, Huckleberry and Fourth Dimension, arrived on scene a short time later. A third yacht Circa also provided assistance.

The assisting yachts recovered five of the six crew members from the water. One had passed away.

AMSA is coordinating a search for the missing crew member in an area of about 90 square nautical miles, 22 nautical miles west southwest of Mandurah.

RAC Rescue helicopters, the DFES Dauphin helicopter, a Police helicopter and a civilian helicopter are searching the area.

AMSA’s Challenger jet from Perth has dropped two datum marker buoys to track water movements in the area.

Fremantle Water Police, the Mandurah and Rockingham Volunteer Marine Rescue and two yachts from the race, Fourth Dimension and Circa are assisting with the search as well.

Huckleberry has transferred the surviving crew members to shore for medical treatment.