Authorities have released the names of the two sailors who died when a yacht competing in a race overturned off the Australian coast of Mandurah on Friday evening.
The fatalities were identified as Bull Creek man Paul Owens and skipper Robert Thomas. They were two of six sailors on board the tragic yacht Finistere when it overturned on Friday evening.
Aside from being the skipper, Thomas was also the owner of Finistere. He went missing following the incident and triggered a vigorous land and air search by maritime authorities.
Thomas’ body was found on Saturday afternoon.
The crew was competing in the Bunbury and Return Ocean Race when the Australian Maritime Safety Authority detected a distress beacon coming from the vessel at around 11:45 p.m. Attempts to contact the crew on board proved unsuccessful and the yacht’s tracker also failed to update at midnight.
Two of the ill-fated Finistere’s competitors, Huckleberry and Fourth Dimension, arrived at the scene to help out. RAC Rescue helicopter also joined in the rescue efforts. Together, they got five of the six crew members from the water, including Owens. Owens, however, died.
The yacht competed regularly in WA and previously completed the prestigious Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
The sea accident will be referred to the police for their proper investigation. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club Commodore Dean McAullay said it was too early to speculate about the incident and they would leave it to the authorities to investigate.
He added that counseling will be given to the crew and race competitors. Support will also be provided to the family of the victims at the appropriate time.
Racing scheduled at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht was also canceled as a sign of respect.
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