A passing containership came to the rescue of 16 people Thursday who were forced to abandon a burning luxury yacht off the coast of Cairns, Australia.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (AMSA RCC Australia) says it coordinated the rescue of the 16 people from the 41-meter yacht about 50 nautical miles north of Cairns on Thursday.
The yacht, Seafaris, caught on fire and issued a mayday call received by the Cairns Vessel Traffic Service about 5.55am (AEST), AMSA said in a statement. A photo released by AMSA shows Seafaris fully engulfed in flames.
A container ship en route to Cairns heard the mayday and arrived on the scene, transferring all 16 survivors from liferafts on board by 7.38am.
RCC Australia tasked AMSA’s Cairns based Dornier search and rescue plane, along with a rescue helicopter to assist in the search and rescue operation.
A broadcast to shipping in the area was issued, AMSA said.
AMSA’s emergency towage vessel Pacific Responder is en route to the scene, where it will work with Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Agency to assess the situation and respond to any marine pollution issues.