A young sailor who triggered a large-scale rescue operation has told of his terrifying ordeal stranded on his yacht in treacherous seas in the Great Australian Bight.


Stranded sailor Xavier Dua finally back on dry land. Good day Xavier. Good day how are you? Good, welcome to Port Lincoln. Thank you, great to be here. Earlier rescue paramedic Clinton Daniels helped winch him from aboard an Indonesian freighter 

and into the SA Ambulance Special Operations helicopter. Rescue workers like Clinton are the angels in the sky that come to rescue the most extreme people in the world. He was rather happy to see us, I'll be honest. I think she's a very big smile. 

The 22 -year -old was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the final leg of a marathon search and rescue mission. On Friday his 21 -foot race yacht lost comms and started taking on water, 630 km west of Kangaroo Island. 

I collided with what I believe is a sunfish under water which caused me to capsize and subsequently have a strong impact with my head. Nursing aboard his head into a triggered emergency beacon and could do nothing but wait. 

In waves up to 10 metres and winds more than 100km strong. A cargo ship sent by the Maritime Safety Authority was the first to reach him, it's crew trying multiple times to throw him a rope before telling him to get in the water. 

It's a very, very difficult manoeuvre and we almost had to abort. Been an anxious few days but we're doing great knowing that Dave is now safe. It's such a relief. The Queenslander was attempting to become the youngest and fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate Australia. 

With his yacht adrift in the ocean, that dream has been dashed. But his vessel is still travelling on autopilot and Doer isn't giving up hope of getting it back. I'll definitely be back out sailing again one day soon. I'm not sure if I'll be in that boat but I am very grateful. 

Lauren Rose, 7 News. 


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