The sailor left Pittwater on Sydney’s northern beaches for Eden on the NSW south coast two weeks ago and activated an emergency beacon on Tuesday.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority decided that due to the boat drifting so far from land it would ask the passenger carrier to do a fly-by of the yacht’s GPS coordinates.

Air Canada said its Boeing 777 dropped down to 1200 metres and the cabin crew got binoculars from passengers, who from all accounts were all for being part of the rescue process, and looked out the windows to pinpoint the boat.

His location confirmed, the lone yachtsman was then rescued.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said once the pilots calculated they had enough fuel for a detour, they flew over the rough seas believed to be where the distressed vessel could be found.

‘ After apprising the customers onboard that we would assist as we were the only aircraft in the immediate vicinity, all onboard became involved in the search efforts,’ Fitzpatrick said.

‘The crew borrowed binoculars from customers and also engaged those sitting on the right hand side of the aircraft to help look.  As our aircraft flew over the area at 4,000 feet, a reflection from a mirror shining upwards was spotted and the crew saw the yacht in question, de-masted with a person standing.’ 

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