An Air Canada pilot and his 270 passengers saved a stranded boater’s life Tuesday when they spotted his damaged yacht drifting 270 miles off the coast of Sydney, Australia. Australian maritime authorities asked Flight AC033 to divert to the area near the end of its 14-hour flight in order to search the water for Glenn Ey, a Queensland resident who had just activated his emergency beacon after 9 days adrift with a broken mast and no fuel.
Pilot Andrew Robertson took the Boeing 777 down to 4,000 feet for the search. Passengers located Ey’s 36-foot yacht just 25 minutes after he activated his beacon. "We're doing this big sweeping right turn and almost immediately they said, 'Oh, we see something.’ We were totally ecstatic,” he said.
Robertson immediately notified maritime authorities of their find. A merchant vessel was sent to Ey’s location to help him until authorities arrived. Ey returned to Sydney on Wednesday and was reunited with loved ones.
“These guys had been motoring flat-out [for] 12 or more hours to get to me. Huge seas. Strong winds. Difficult scenario. And they went to work,” Ey said of authorities. "I've tried to tell all of them they've been absolutely brilliant. And I more than appreciate it."
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