Solo sailor stranded in rough seas for 24 hours, Xavier Doerr, rescued off of South Australian coast
Exhausted solo sailor stranded in rough seas for 24 hours finally rescued, but not after two failed attempts
- Australian rescued after 24 hours stranded at sea
- Trying to get around Australia
A young Australian trying to sail solo across Australia has finally been rescued after a 24-hour emergency operation.
22-year-old Xavier Doerr, sailing in a 6.5-metre vessel, was crushed by winds of 110 km/h during severe weather in the Great Australian Bight before activating its distress beacon at about 5pm on Friday.
It was located by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) about 630 km west of Kangaroo Island in South Australia and about 720 km east of Esperance, southern Western Australia.
The ship was located on Saturday morning by a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft after two bulk carriers, the Theodore JR and HSL Mexico, moved to the area.
He was brought safely aboard the Theodore JR around 6pm on Saturday after two previous attempts to rescue the Gold Coast man failed.
22-year-old Xavier Doerr (pictured) attempted to navigate Australia solo, unaided and without stopping, before his boat was damaged by intense weather
Lee Randall, Doerr’s shore manager, said communication with the sailor was lost “for an extended period of time” Friday afternoon.
“At that time he had suffered some injuries and some water had entered the boat and he genuinely feared for his safety,” Randall said earlier on Saturday.
Mr. Randall announced the sailors’ safety shortly after he was rescued by a coordinated air and sea rescue effort.
“Gold Coast sailor Xavier Doerr has been rescued and is currently undergoing medical examination aboard an Indonesian freighter,” he said.
“It’s been a hell of 24 hours. As most people know by now, a rescue operation from the air and sea has been launched in South Australia.’
AMSA confirmed that weather conditions in the area were ‘severe with winds estimated at 100-110 km per hour and seas up to 6 meters high’.
The area had received a severe weather warning from the Bureau of Meteorology on Friday with wind gusts of up to 125 kilometers for Friday night and early Saturday.
A young Australian was rescued on Saturday night after spending 24 hours at sea in the Great Australian Bight and two rescue attempts failed
Mr Doerr began his journey at the Gold Coast’s Moreton Bay Marine Park on May 4, hoping to live stream ‘Australia’s toughest offshore challenge’.
He attempted to break the record for a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation of Australia before his ship was severely damaged off Perth on 7 June.
His hull was holed and his sail torn to shreds, forcing him to moor in Fremantle for several weeks.
“I’m working as hard as I can to get back on the water as soon as possible,” Mr. Doerr told Seven at the time.
Leaving Fremantle dock on June 29, he set his sights on a journey across South Australia and around Tasmania, bypassing the Tasman Strait, and back up the east coast to Moreton Bay Marine Park.
He was rescued by the crew of an Indonesian bulk carrier, Theodore JR, which changed course to intercept Mr Doerr’s distress beacon used at about 5pm on Friday.