Saved by the Beacon

Saved by the Beacon

Sophie Lyons, Writer

David Simpson was thrown off of his boat in the Australian sea after a large wave hit it and he swam to a water beacon on December 30, 2020. He was eventually rescued by a search helicopter.

“The wave hit the side of the boat and I was trying to secure the dinghy, which had come a little bit adrift, and a rope broke holding the dinghy,” Simpson said after his rescue. He had swam half a mile to a water beacon and waited for a wave high enough to lift him to the ladder of it. He said he took off his shorts to use them as a flag, but was unable to get any attention until the helicopter showed up.

His yacht still had his dog, Mitch, on board when the wave hit. Simpson recalled that after he was thrown off his boat, the engine kept running and it sped off into the ocean. Mitch was later found by another boater all alone on the yacht and the boater alerted authorities. Mitch was rescued by Surf Life Saving Queensland. Simpson was found only 1.6 miles away from his boat.

Ian Hunt is the heroic savior of Simpson. He is also the commander of the Mooloolaba coast guard. “He’s a very lucky man to be able to get to that beacon,” Hunt says. And he is right. But luck and the coast guard aren’t the only things that got Simpson saved. Because of his perseverance and strength, David Simpson and Mitch are safely back at their home, telling the story of how he was saved by the beacon.