Australian yachtsman discovered clinging to a beacon at sea

(CNN) – An Australian seaman was rescued after being held by a beacon in the Pacific.

64-year-old David Simpson was thrown from his boat when a strong wave hit the ship near Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, CNN subsidiary 9News reported.

He watched his boat float away – with his dog aboard – and then managed to swim about half a mile to a water fire, where he waited to be pushed up by a wave to hold onto the ladder of the beacon .

The man was spotted on a beacon at sea.

From the Caloundra Volunteer Coast Guard – QF4 / Facebook

“The wave hit the side of the boat and I was trying to secure the dinghy, which drifted a bit and broke a rope that was holding the dinghy,” Simpson told 9News. “The dinghy hit me … and I fell about eight feet on my ribs and off the boat.”

Another seaman later discovered the unmanned ship with the engine still running and the dog on board and alerted the authorities.

Simpson said he tried every possible way to get attention, even taking off his shorts to wave at them. “Maybe that’s why nobody stopped because I was naked,” he said.

Three hours after the alarm went off, Simpson was found by a helicopter, which spotted him 1.6 miles from his ship in the dark.

“He’s a very lucky man to be able to reach this beacon,” Ian Hunt, Mooloolaba Coast Guard commander, told 9News.

Mitch the dog was rescued by Surf Lifesaving Queensland.

Mitch the dog was rescued by Surf Lifesaving Queensland.

From Surf Life Saving Queensland / Twitter

Simpson’s dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Mitch, was rescued by a crew of surf lifeguards, Surf Lifesaving Queensland said.

The Mooloolaba Coast Guard announced Wednesday that attempts are being made to retrieve the now grounded ship.

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