A TRAGIC boating accident claimed the life of a man off Port Campbell yesterday after a yacht was struck by waves attempting to sail out of the bay.
Police recovered the body of a 50-year-old man, believed to have been wearing a life jacket, in the early evening.
It is understood two men were travelling in the yacht along the coast when they docked at Port Campbell to refuel.
Witnesses told The Standard the yacht began to sail out on the left side of the bay through strong waves.
According to police, the man was thrown into the ocean by a wave 300 metres offshore.
The other man still aboard the vessel tried in vain to rescue his friend, throwing him a line, which he clung on to in the water until a second wave washed him away.
Acting Sergeant Rachell Field, of Warrnambool police, said water police were still to determine the sequence of events leading up to the accident.
Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club members located the missing man face down in the water.
Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him at the port dock.
“CPR was attempted to revive the man unsuccessfully,” Acting Sergeant Field said. “It’s still being investigated.”
Late last night police were yet to confirm the identity of the man and notify his family.
The other man, who was the owner of the yacht, was not injured.
Conditions out at sea were not considered to be rough.
“From what we can tell there were only one-metre ocean swells,” Acting Sergeant Field said.