A SAILOR rescued by a bulk carrier earlier this month visited the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to meet the search and rescue officers who co-ordinated the response.

The sailor, Xavier Doerr, sent out an emergency beacon on 7 July when his vessel encountered dangerous conditions in the Great Australian Bight.

AMSA search and rescue officers sent the Perth-based Challenger aircraft to the sailor’s location, where they communicated with him for 21 hours.

The AMSA Response Centre also diverted the bulk carrier Theodore JR, and the crew took the sailor aboard before a medical evacuation was arranged.

Acting AMSA Response Centre manager Joe Zeller said staff were pleased to meet with Mr Doerr during his visit to the response centre on Wednesday this week. Staff gave Mr Doerr a tour of the centre.

“We have an outstanding team of search and rescue professionals in AMSA, who are deeply committed to saving lives at sea,” Mr Zeller said.

“This rescue was particularly challenging, as severe weather conditions made Mr Doerr’s retrieval from the water difficult. 

“We’re happy to see that Mr Doerr is doing well and hope the experience of meeting our team has been beneficial.”

Mr Zeller said activating the registered emergency beacon was key to Mr Doerr’s survival.

“Activating a beacon will let us know immediately that you might be in danger, and in severe weather conditions that can make the difference between life and death,” he said.

“If your beacon goes off, the AMSA Response Centre will immediately spring into action, ascertain the situation, and coordinate a rescue if needed.”

Mr Doerr thanked the AMSA Response Centre for their hard work and professionalism during the rescue.

“The team here did a fantastic job – AMSA will always do whatever they can to save a life,” Mr Doerr said.

“But every boater should take safe sailing seriously, before they head out, by making sure they wear a lifejacket, take a registered beacon and alerting someone to their plans.

“If you go out on the water unprepared, you may not come back.”