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Sailor dies during yacht delivery

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Anthony “Johnny” Mahoney, 73, a lifelong sailor from Queensland, Australia, died Monday, Dec. 18, after clinging to a dinghy with two crewmates for four days off the coast of the Philippines, Australian news agencies have reported.

Mahoney, along with friends Laurie Miller and Lionel Ansselin, ran into rough weather while delivering Ansselin’s yacht from Queensland to its new owner in the Philippines, according to news reports. Authorities in the Philippine region of Tandag said the yacht developed a hole and capsized near the southern island of Mindanao, en route to Subic Bay.

The men activated an emergency beacon (EPIRB) on Thursday, Dec. 14, then again on Friday, Dec. 15, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has confirmed. Because of the location of the signals, AMSA alerted authorities in the Philippines, but it was not until Monday morning that a fishing crew located the men in the dinghy, according to news reports.

Mahoney’s stepdaughter, Shannon Grasso, told news agencies that Mahoney was unconscious by the time rescuers arrived and died of a heart attack while being taken to a Philippines hospital. Miller and Ansselin are reportedly in stable condition at the hospital.

The Philippine Coast Guard said it found the wreckage of the Sydney-registered yacht at a beach on the Dinagat islands in Leyte Gulf, hundreds of miles from where the three Australians were picked up.

The yacht, S/Y Katerina, a 59-foot (18m) ketch launched in 1984, is one of 12 limited edition Camper & Nicholson 58 yachts built in the UK. Formerly named Wyntje, she was once owned by U.S. news anchor Walter Cronkite.

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