A Gold Coast man who was feared lost at sea after the 8.8-magnitude Chile earthquake has been found, 35 days after the quake struck.
The family of Mitchell Westlake feared the 23-year-old former Navy officer had drowned, but this morning he called his grandfather to say he was safe and well.
Ernie Westlake says his grandson was on a training cruise and his boat became becalmed more than 1,000 miles off the coast of Chile, unaware of the quake that battered the country and killed nearly 500 people in February.
“They had no idea there was a tsunami or an earthquake until they hit port yesterday,” he said.
“They only sighted land once and that was about five or six days ago when they sailed past Robinson Crusoe Island.
“He was tired because it was left to Mitchell and the skipper to sail the boat … single-handed.”
Chilean authorities are understood to have launched a search for the 16-metre yacht SS Columbia, the boat on which Mr Westlake and four others were sailing.
Mr Westlake left Salinas, Ecuador, on January 16 on a sailing course.
The yacht was expected to dock at the Chilean city of Coquimbo between February 24 and 27, the day the earthquake struck.
The Montreal Gazette reported a Canadian woman was also on board the vessel.