Man found clinging to water beacon after ship runs aground
A man has been found alive and clinging to a water beacon hours after falling overboard from a luxury boat in waters off the Sunshine Coast.
A major search was initiated for a man after the 45ft motor cruiser washed aground off Caloundra with the engine running and only a dog on board about 4pm.
The man, aged in his 60s, had been on the vessel with just his dog when he fell into the water.
Lifeguards and beachgoers spotted the boat - M.V Focus - moving erratically and aimlessly off the northern tip of Bribie Island.
"Lifeguards noticed the vessel had run aground just after 4pm and immediately responded," Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Supervisor Rhys Drury said.
"They conducted a search of the vessel and no one was located on board."
It is understood the engine was still running and had to be switched off by lifeguards.
The dog is safe and well and was taken off the boat by lifeguards.
Water police, the local coast guard, surf lifesavers on jet skis and a rescue helicopter searched waters off the northern part of Bribie Island for several hours before the man flagged down a passing boat while clinging to a ladder attached to a water beacon about 7pm.
The search was called off after the man was found safe and well.
Local Glen Whisson said he was walking along the beach when he spotted the yacht moving "aimlessly" around the northern tip of Bribie Island, across from Caloundra, about 4pm.
"It seemed to be drifting very aimlessly," Mr Whisson said.
"The inflatable dinghy on the back of the boat was just swinging around wildly.
"It came right ashore but there was nobody on board at all … the lifesavers came around in about 5 to 10 minutes and they hoisted one of the guys on there."
Originally published as Man found clinging to water beacon after ship runs aground