SYDNEY, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Australian rescue officials used commercial passenger jets to confirm the location of a sailor whose yacht was foundering off southern Australia.
Sailor Glenn Ey set out alone two weeks ago on his 35-foot yacht from in Pittwater in New South Wales before a series of mishaps left him adrift 350 miles from the coast, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
First, a gale forced him to stop hugging the coastline and sail out further to wait out the storm, he told the newspaper. Then, a giant wave slammed the yacht, smashing its mast.
Ey said he knew he had to sever the mast completely, as it could act like a spear and puncture the hull. It took him 36 hours to disentangle the rigging, sails and cut off the mast and bail out the boat, he said.
He then used a small motor to head back to the coast, but against the current, ran out of gas.
Tuesday, he set off his emergency beacon to radio his position, the newspaper said.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority requested any flights in the area to make visual confirmation of the foundering yacht.
An Air Canada flight from Vancouver bound for Sydney slowed and descended to 5,000 feet as crew and passengers used binoculars to scan the sea.
Soon after, a merchant ship arrived and sheltered the yacht until a rescue vessel arrived, the report said.
Ey told the Herald he doesn't plan on sailing again.
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