David Simpson Biography David Simpson Wiki
An Australian sailor clung to a lighthouse for three hours after a wave in the Pacific knocked him off the boat.
David Simpson, 64, had to wear his swim shorts to attract attention after being thrown from his yacht while cruising the east coast of Queensland.
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Simpson, an experienced sailor, was trying to tie a boat to the back of the boat when the rope that was holding him broke.
He said the waves threw the boat down at him and pushed him off the deck into the water.
Then with the engine running and his Staffordshire Terrier Mitch on board, he was dragged out of the 13-meter boat.
Simpson said, “I was afraid I was no longer close to my family.” He said he swam about half a mile until he found a lighthouse and could access it.
“They had a ladder about three feet high and I was waiting for a wave and I was able to put my hands up,” he said.
The alarm sounded after local coast guards saw the yacht disembark and an air and sea search was launched.
At the signal, Simpson desperately tried to get the attention of the passing ships.
“I took off my shorts and slammed them on. Maybe that’s why no one stopped because I was naked,” he said. As the sun set, the lighthouse came on automatically and Simpson attempted to use it to send a distress signal.
Eventually, the signal was picked up by a freighter.
Photos of a Simpson rescue helicopter show on the lighthouse’s little bridge.
The rescue took place three hours after the boat was found and 1.5 miles from where it ran aground.
Attempts by the Coast Guard to bring the stranded vessel back to sea must continue.
Ian Hunt, the commander of the Mooloolaba Coast Guard, told the Today show that Simpson was lucky to be alive.
“He is a very lucky man to be able to reach this lighthouse,” he said.