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Australian authorities are thanking the crew of an Air Canada flight for helping to locate a sailor in distress off the country's east coast.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said Tuesday it received an emergency beacon activation at 8:15 a.m. local time, coming from approximately 270 nautical miles (500 kilometres) east of Sydney.
The AMSA requested Air Canada Flight AC033, a Boeing 777 en route from Vancouver to Sydney with 270 passengers and 18 crew aboard, to divert to the area of the beacon.
"The location of the beacon was within a flight path, so we needed to assess the situation and the Boeing 777 was the closest asset available to us," Jo Meehan of the AMSA told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
"Almost right away, my first officer spotted something," Robertson said, adding that at 5,000 feet is was hard to make out any details.
"So I went from 5,000 down to 3,700 feet ... and they saw what they thought initially were three people on the deck, but it turns out there was only one," he said.