THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority co-ordinated the response to a distress beacon activated at 1720 AEDT on Thursday.

The beacon was registered to a yacht that had lost rigging and had no fuel to motor back to safety. It was about 430 kilometres south of Esperance, Western Australia.

AMSA diverted two merchant vessels in the area – MV Conti Conquest and MV OOCL Texas to the yacht and tasked the AMSA Perth-based Challenger rescue aircraft to the scene.

MV Conti Conquest was the first to reach the yacht and eventually managed to transfer fuel to the vessel on the second attempt in six-metre seas and 25 to 30-knot winds. The fuel allowed the yacht to make its way to safety around midnight.

AMSA said the incident was a reminder to all vessel owners and masters of the importance of making sure their vessels are prepared before heading off with up-to-date safety equipment, suitable communication equipment, sufficient fuel and enough room for your equipment and supplies. 

AMSA thanked the master and crew of Conti Conquest and OOCL Texas who responded to the call for assistance.