Trio used beer cooler's lid for a sail in amazing 12-hour voyage to safety

Three Australian sailors owe their lives to a beer cooler by using it as a float after their boat sank. They used the cooler’s lid as a makeshift sail and, despite most of their voyage being in darkness, they were able to steer enough to avoid currents carrying them out into the Pacific.

The trio were in the water for nearly 12 hours before making landfall at Bushland Beach near Townsville in Queensland. All were exhausted, but grateful to be alive.

Garry Fleming, the boat’s owner, said he carried a beer cooler whenever he went to sea, because “if anything goes wrong there will be the box to hold on to.” How right he was – the boat sank so quickly that all its emergency equipment was lost.