Body discovered off Coffs coast

A YACHTING expedition has turned to tragedy with the discovery of a man’s body off the Coffs Harbour coast.

The body is thought to be that of a Sydney man, 50, who was washed overboard from the yacht Del Segno in rough conditions on Tuesday night.

Sergeant Don Stewart from Coffs Harbour water police, who is leading the investigation into the mishap, said the body was to be positively identified yesterday.

The 15-metre yacht, with the man and his friend, a 46-year-old Sydney woman, aboard was being delivered from Yamba to Sydney when disaster struck about 20 nautical miles off Coffs Harbour.

It is understood the man had gone up on deck during the night when the yacht was smashed by a large wave, knocking him overboard.

“The woman was inexperienced and was unable to turn the yacht around to get him,” Sgt Stewart said.

She raised the alarm and water police were called out about 10pm. They found the yacht with the woman aboard and took it in tow to Coffs Harbour but they could not find the missing man.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked to the scene along with other helicopters to begin the search, which resumed at first light yesterday.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority aircraft along with helicopters, a water police launch and coastal shipping searched the area between North Solitary Island and South Solitary Island and a man’s body was found in the water at 7am. No lifejacket was found.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter retrieved the body and flew to Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

The woman was admitted to hospital for observation, Sgt Stewart said.



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