A brave father has revealed the brave words he used to keep his young daughter alive during a dramatic four-hour-long ocean rescue when their boat sank at sea.
Glenn Anderson, 41, and his young daughter Ruby, 11, were thrown from their boat while sailing from Western Australia‘s Rottnest Island to Sandy Cape at 11:30am on Sunday.
The pair spent four agonising hours treading water just north of Jurien Bay, after their 11.4 metre yacht was capsized by a breaking wave in 40 knot winds, with the desperate dad constantly telling her ‘we are going to make it’.
The father and daughter were among five people on board the vessel who were forced to abandon the sinking ship.
Glenn Anderson, 41, and his young daughter Ruby, 11, (pictured) were thrown from their yacht while sailing from Rottnest Island to Sandy Cape on Sunday
Mr Anderson sustained a deep gash to his forehead as he fell from the yacht, while his young daughter Ruby broke her leg in two places
Mr Anderson’s crew members, a 32-year-old man and two women aged 32 and 35 had joined the pair on a three-month expedition to Exmouth from Busselton.
Speaking of his ocean ordeal to reporters, the 41-year-old said he and his daughter were in the cockpit when the giant wave threw them out of the boat.
Mr Anderson sustained a deep gash to his forehead during the fall while Ruby broke her left leg in two places, but luckily the pair were able to secure life-jackets.
‘All of a sudden there was a breaking wave outside of the boat and we tried to take evasive action but it was too late, and the wave knocked the boat flat,’ Mr Anderson told 9News.
‘It was like something out of a movie, the mast just went down in a matter of minutes.’
It took less than five minutes for the yacht to sink, with the family’s nine-month-old puppy Banjo tragically taken down with the vessel.
The brave father towed his young daughter for five kilometres as they waited to be rescued, desperately trying to keep Ruby’s head above the rough swell.
Mr Anderson said he and his daughter waved at the the rescue helicopter every time it flew overhead, estimating it was at least 20 times during the four hour ordeal (pictured, the helicopter in action)
It took less than five minutes for the yacht to sink, which tragically took the family’s nine-month-old puppy named Banjo with it (pictured)
Mr Anderson said he encouraged his exhausted daughter to keep going by repeating a mantra.
‘There was no way we could give up, stopping wasn’t an option. I kept saying to her “(Ruby) we are going to make it, no matter what”.’
The experienced sailor said he tightly held his daughter throughout the ordeal, and told her when she needed to hold her breath under the breaking waves.
Mr Anderson’s crew members – who had been able to set off an emergency beacon – were rescued first just before 2pm.
It was another hour before the father and daughter were rescued by a fisheries vessel who picked them up 200 metres from the shore.
Mr Anderson said Ruby was barely able to speak or say her own name as she got onto the rescue boat.
‘She was severely hypothermic to the point the paramedic said he couldn’t get a temperature reading from her finger because there was no circulation at all.’
Jurien Bay police, an Australian Maritime Safety Authority jet and the RAC Rescue helicopter (pictured) were involved in rescue effort
Mr Anderson’s crew members, a 32-year-old man and two women aged 32 and 35 were luckily able to set off an emergency beacon and throw life-jackets into the water
Ruby is recovering in the Perth Children’s Hospital in a stable condition.
Jurien Bay police, an Australian Maritime Safety Authority jet and the RAC Rescue helicopter were involved in the rescue efforts.
Maritime authorities have said the group’s use of life-jackets and an emergency beacon were crucial in their safe return to shore.
Mr Anderson has passed on his thanks to the rescue crews who saved their lives.
‘I just can’t be grateful enough, I can’t express my gratitude in words’, he said.