On 18 April 1953, two boys and a man were rescued from an overturned 10-foot dinghy half a mile off the Largs Bay shoreline in South Australia – and as a result the 2017 International Cadet Australian Championship has found a major sponsor.
It may sound a bit far fetched, but one of the boys rescued went by the name of Frank Seeley, who ended up becoming the founder of Seeley International. Mr Seeley has always kept Largs Bay Sailing Club and its members close to his heart from that day on, bringing in Breezair by Seeley as the major sponsor of the upcoming regatta.
Below is the story published in the 18 April 1953 edition of The Mail newspaper, Adelaide.
The Mail, 18 April 1953, page 1
2 boys and man in sea ordeal
Two boys were rescued from an upturned 10-ft dinghy half a mile off shore and a man was found swimming in circles after one and a half hours in the water, at Largs Bay today.
The boys, one aged 10 and the other 11, with the man left Largs Bay just before noon to go fishing. They were about a quarter of a mile beyond the end of the (Largs Bay) jetty when a squall swung the boom over, knocking the boys into the water and capsizing the craft.
They hung to the side of the boat hoping that they would be seen by someone on the beach or jetty, but as the boat began to drift out to sea the man struck out for the shore, leaving the boys clinging on.
Meanwhile another young boy, whose name is not known, saw a pair of oars floating beneath the jetty.
He ran to the sailing club shed, where members were getting the lifeboat out in readiness for a carnival at Semaphore. In a matter of minutes Keith Reynolds, 21, of Union Street, Largs Bay; Kevin Curry, 22, of Devon Street, Largs Bay and Bill Villiers, 22, also of Largs Bay, launched the lifeboat and set out for the upturned craft.
“We reached the man first,” said Keith Reynolds.
“He was pretty well done in and appeared to be swimming in circles.
“The two youngsters had just about had it too. They had been hanging on for a long time.
“It was the luckiest thing that we happened to have the lifeboat out. Normally the engine plays up and it takes a while to get going. Today she kicked over first time.”
“The old tub has saved scores of lives, including 14 in one afternoon, in the past, but she’s just about had her days,” said Mr Reynolds.
“We’re saving for a new and better craft to replace her.”