CNN’s 9News reports that David Simpson, 64, was thrown from his boat when a strong wave struck the ship near Caloundra, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
He watched his boat – with his dog on board – float away, then managed to swim half a mile to a water lighthouse, where he waited for a wave to push him in order to cling to the lighthouse ladder.
The man was discovered on a lighthouse in the sea.
From the Caloundra Volunteer Coast Guard – QF4 / Facebook
“The wave hit the side of the boat and I was trying to secure the boat that had veered slightly and the rope carrying the boat broke,” Simpson told 9News. “The boat hit me … I fell on my rib, 2.5 and 3 meters from the boat.”
Another sailor later discovered the unmanned vessel with its engine still in operation with a dog on board, and reported to the authorities.
Simpson said he tried to gain attention in any way he could, and even took off his shorts to wave them up. He said, “Maybe that’s why no one stopped, because I was naked.”
Three hours after the alarm went off, Simpson was found by a helicopter, which spotted him in the dark about 1.6 miles from his ship.
“He’s a very lucky man to be able to get to this lighthouse,” Coast Guard commander Ian Hunt in Mooloolaba told 9News.
Mitch the Dog is rescued by Surf Lifesaving Queensland.
From Surf Life Saving Queensland / Twitter
The Coast Guard in Mooloolaba said on Wednesday that attempts to recover the suspended ship were under way.