A 62-year-old respected sailor is believed to have drowned after he was swung out from a yacht in tough seas off the coast near Port Stephens in NSW, yesterday.
The well known sailor named Mal Lennon was at the helm of a 36-foot vessel named Amante when he was tossed into the water by a junky wave when he was near the Broughton Island.
Conditions have eased since that incident and air and sea rescue operations have started looking for Mr Lennon. But they have started to believe that there is very little scope he could have lasted the night in brutal seas conditions without a life jacket.
Speaking to the reporters, Superintendent Mark Hutching said that the sea conditions were up to 6 to 8 meters with sometimes up to fifty-knot gales. Due to the sea conditions, they .
Mr Lennon’s friends told that the project manager is a great yachtsman and highly respected in sailing circles in Sydney.
Sydney Flying Squadron commodore Bill Loader told a leading news channel that Mal was a superb guy; he really cared about other people. He was very competent as far as sailing went. He was well known to the sailing community.
One rescuer endured a dislocated shoulder in the tough sea conditions. Ron Lighton, a crew member, told that they got rolled once right over – 90 degrees – by a wave that was twice the size of our boat. It just came out of nowhere.