Round the world yachtsman Tony Bullimore has been rescued after the coast guard spotted a flare that he set off when his boat started sinking in the middle of the crowd at a Western Sydney Wanderers game.
“I was blown off course by a southerly buster in Bass Strait and found myself adrift in the crowd at Pirtek Stadium about to be swamped by a massive Mexican wave,” said the cold and bedraggled sailor after being flown to safety aboard the Westpac rescue helicopter. “Fortunately because I’m such a useless yachtsman I always carry a big sack of flares whenever I leave port so I was able to set one off in the hope that someone might spot me.”
An alert referee’s assistant spotted the flare and immediately called the coast guard who sent spotter aircraft to the area in hope of locating the source of the distress signal.
“We were lucky to spot Mr Bullimore’s yacht amongst the throbbing mass of chanting football fans,” said rescuer Brenda Lifejacket. “Tony was blowing on his whistle but it wasn’t doing him much good because we kept confusing him with the referee.”
“Being a boatie I’m actually a fan of the Mariners’, said a thankful Bullimore as he sipped a hot mug of Bonox with a blanket around his shoulders. “I’d strongly advise anyone intending to sail through a football match to carry plenty of flares.”