Missing WA boat found after 7000km journey

A less waterlogged version of a LeisureCat boat. Stephen Knight's craft capsized off Exmouth in WA before drifting to Madagascar.
A less waterlogged version of a LeisureCat boat. Stephen Knight's craft capsized off Exmouth in WA before drifting to Madagascar. Photo: LeisureCat

Perth: An eight-metre boat believed lost eight months ago after being capsized by a freak wave off the coast of Western Australia has been rediscovered 4000 nautical miles (7400 kilometres) away washed up on an island off the coast of Madagascar.

Perth-based owner Stephen Knight had already been paid insurance for the loss of the $200,000 LeisureCat vessel, which was swept away in the waters off Exmouth last May.

Mr Knight and a friend were on board the boat when the wave knocked them into the water and forced them to swim to a nearby island to seek rescue.

Despite four days of air searches, the boat could not be found and was declared lost.

But on Monday, Mr Knight was contacted by the Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra, which had been called by French officials who discovered the boat on rocks on Mayotte, between Mozambique and Madagascar.

That is a journey of more than 4000 nautical miles through numerous shipping lanes.

"I thought it might have hit to the coast of WA somewhere - so to hear it has gone so far away on another continent ... it is a bit surreal. I was in total shock."

Despite floating upside down for the duration of the journey, and a few barnacles, the vessel appears reasonably intact.

But Mr Knight says he is not expecting to get it back to Perth.

"The boat is fairly intact, other than having a few barnacles on it - and it is amazing no-one actually saw it," Mr Knight said.

"Under international law, they have salvage rights - so if some soul over there has found and can make a few dollars out of it, then good luck to them."

AAP

Comments