French sailors rescued by Navy - sailing boat lost

HMAS Perth - today - the heroes of the story
.. .
They happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was an unlucky/lucky day for two French sailors who were trying to cross the Tasman Sea a little early, risking strong winds - and they eventuated. That was unlucky, but what was lucky was that the Australian Navy was doing sea exercises in the area in preparation for the coming International Fleet Review in Sydney.

So, as a break in their exercises, the Royal Australian Navy has just rescued the two French yachtsmen whose yacht sank 360nm east of Jervis Bay, on the NSW south coast.

A Navy Seahawk helicopter winched the men from a small boat after they abandoned their sinking yacht in rough conditions on Sunday, the Navy said in a statement.

The sailors were returned to the Navy frigate HMAS Perth where they were expected to remain before landing in Jervis Bay on Monday.

They were in a satisfactory condition after suffering mild hyperthermia, the Navy said.

HMAS Perth Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard, said the rescue went very smoothly.

'The final piece of the rescue saw the Seahawk helicopter use its night vision capability to ensure a successful outcome,' Cpt Goddard said.

The Nowra-based helicopter and the Western Australian-based HMAS Perth are participating in maritime exercises around Jervis Bay prior to their involvement in the International Fleet Review in Sydney.

No information has been divulged about what made the sailing boat sink.

Editor's Note:
Showing now is the correct photo of the HMAS Perth, rather than an earlier one of the same name - apologies to all for our lack of knowledge about boats propelled by motor alone...and thank you to those who corrected our mistake without too much laughing