A wayward yachtsman is thanking his lucky stars this week after being spotted by crew and passengers of an Air Canada Boeing 777. The small sailboat left from near Sydney two weeks ago, headed for ironically named Eden on the south coast of New South Wales to the north.
The boat experienced trouble and an emergency beacon alerted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which relayed the GPS position to the Air Canada jet. En route to Sydney from Vancouver, the crew determined there was enough fuel on board to help out in the search. They descended to 4,000 feet above the surface and began looking.
Passengers loaned binoculars to the pilots who also asked those seated on the right side of the airplane to search for the troubled yacht.
An Air Canada spokesman said, “After apprising the customers on board that we would assist as we were the only aircraft in the immediate vicinity, all on board became involved in the search efforts.”
The crew and several passengers spotted the yachtsman’s signal mirror and were able to pinpoint his position for rescue teams.