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Surfwatch-'Incredibly Naive or Incredibly Stupid'

by SMH/Sail-World on 26 Oct 2008
Surfwatch director Michael Brown, who flew in a helicopter over Cape Three Points when six sailors were rescued from their sinking yacht, has described the crew as 'either incredibly naive or incredibly stupid' for sailing in such bad weather this week.

'It was almost impossible to see it. The waves were pounding all around it,' he added.

At the time that the yacht set out for Brisbane, gale force winds were pushing up the seastate, and the yacht was being pounded by six metre swells and 40 knot winds.

The 11 metre yacht, Encore, believed to be an old Warren Anderson designed aluminium sloop was about three nautical miles off Cape Three Points north of Broken Bay when a Police launch reached it just after 1600 and rescued the six crew, returning them to Palm Beach ferry wharf. Police now believe the abandoned yacht has most likely sunk.

Apart from sea sickness and mild dehydration, all crew were passed fit, police said. The boat's owner, Marcus Lillycrap, had purchased the boat three weeks ago, SKY News reported.

However, Mr Lillycrap was philosophical about the incident according to the SMH. 'That's life ... the seas are the seas and that's what happens,' he said.
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