Second Briton is feared dead in yachting accident

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A British woman drowned and another was missing, feared dead, after their yacht capsized and sank off the Australian coast on Sunday.

A British woman drowned and another was missing, feared dead, after their yacht capsized and sank off the Australian coast on Sunday.

Four other crew members, three men and a woman, were rescued, having been washed ashore on to a remote beach after 16 hours in the water.

The 38ft yacht, Rising Farrister, lost its keel and overturned off the north coast of New South Wales. It hit what was thought to be a reef in a notoriously dangerous stretch of water.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed the woman who died was Linda Yarr, 35, from Airdrie, Lanarkshire, and the missing woman was aged 18. Two of the surviving Britons are reported to be from Cheshire, one from Gloucestershire and one from Surrey.

The crew of six, all Britons taking part in a seven-week training course organised by Leisure Management International, a company based in Britain, were sailing from Surfers Paradise, Queensland, to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales when their vessel got into trouble at South Evans Reef.

Rising Farrister had been sailing in company with the Alvin Yark, a 42ft yacht, as part of an instructor-training programme. The other yacht was four hours ahead and its crew were unaware of the accident until they reached Coffs Harbour.

Three of the survivors told police they had been on deck at the time of the capsize while the fourth managed to clamber out when the boat overturned. Two of the women were trapped inside the upturned hull as their companions scrambled into a liferaft. The four survivors, three men aged 32, 30 and 26, and a 22-year-old woman, attempted to reach their companions but were washed away from the capsized yacht. More than 16 hours later they were washed up on an isolated beach used by the Australian military for bombing practice.

Inspector Mal Turner, of Ballina police in New South Wales, said: "The 38ft yacht was travelling south and we believe it hit a reef. Four out of the six crew managed to get into a liferaft. Some time the next morning, the liferaft deflated and they ended up in the water.

"Their condition was remarkably good; they were suffering from cuts and abrasions," he said, adding that the dead woman was found six nautical miles out from the shore.

The four survivors were taken to Ballina Hospital suffering from dehydration, cuts and bruises.

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