15 May 2012
A sailor making his way alone in a nine metre boat from Bundaberg, Australia to Scotland was rescued today by crew onboard Gearbulk's Toucan Arrow.
At 0600 Junior 3rd Officer Rubrico John Ryan spotted a hand flare. It was the first of four fired in succession followed by a smoke signal about two nautical miles north of Toucan Arrow's position near Bundaberg. Captain Damir Vukonic altered course to head toward the location where the flares had been seen. He also contacted the local Vessel Traffic System to coordinate a rescue operation.
At 0634 the sailor in a rubber dinghy came into view. Toucan Arrow approached so he was able to board the ship via the ladder. His dinghy was lifted onboard by crane. He reported that he'd been asleep in the cabin of his sailing boat when it began to fill with sea water after being knocked about. It was nearly three hours later that he saw Toucan Arrow in the distance and sent up his flares.
Toucan Arrow proceeded to Gladstone, Australia, where the shaken and grateful sailor was treated at a local hospital and later released in good condition.