• Strong waves hit David Simpson's vessel, and tossed him overboard
  • Simpson then swam half a mile to the beacon and waited for rescue
  • Another sailor, who spotted the boat, alerted the authorities

A sailor in Australia, who was thrown off his boat after strong waves hit it, was rescued after being spotted clinging on to a beacon in the middle of the ocean for hours.

David Simpson, 64, clung naked to the beacon ladder near Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast for three hours, reported CNN.

Simpson was boating in the Coral Sea, off the eastern coast of Australia, with his dog Mitch when the strong waves hit his vessel. Simpson couldn't catch up with the boat, which floated away with the dog. However, he swam half a mile to the beacon and clung on to it.

"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. The dinghy hit me and I fell about 2.5, 3 meters on my ribs and off the boat,” CNN quoted Simpson.

The sailor said he tried hard to get attention, and even took off his shorts to wave them around.

"Maybe that's why nobody stopped, because I was naked," he said.

The dinghy with the dog on it was spotted by another sailor, who alerted the authorities. The boat, meanwhile, ran aground at Bribie Island where Mitch was taken in by lifeguards of Surf Life Saving Queensland. They took to Twitter to say the dog will be reunited with his owner soon.

At the time of rescue, Simpson was 1.6 miles away from his vessel.

"He's a very lucky man to be able to get to that beacon," said Ian Hunt, commander of the Mooloolaba coastguard.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to pump out Simpson's beached vessel, Focus, by the Caloundra and Mooloolaba Coast Guards.

In a similar incident, two fishermen in Ireland had managed to save two paddle boarders who were lost at sea for 15 hours. The father-son duo spotted a woman and her teenage daughter clinging on to a lobster pot near Aran Islands, approximately 20 miles from where they were last seen paddleboarding. The fishermen, who set out on rescue operation, worked out a rough idea of where paddle boarders may have been by calculating the wind speed and direction, before rescuing them.

Representational image Pixabay