The West

Search for missing sailor after yacht found (clone for SW 1345161529)
The boat of the missing fisherman, lies abandoned at Port Geographe Marina this morning.

A marine and air search is underway off Busselton after a yacht was found with nobody aboard.

Duty Insp. Neil Blair said a 76-year-old Australind man had set sail from Port Geographe Marina on the 6m multihull yacht about 12.20pm.

Insp. Blair said the man had been due to return at 4pm but the yacht was discovered by local marine rescue volunteers about 7km north of the marina with nobody on board about 8pm.

Police were alerted to the fact that the yacht was overdue about 6.30pm, which sparked the sea search.

A search was also underway on land.

A water police spokesman said the search would begin by 7am today, with three aircraft and four rescue boats involved.

He said the Commonwealth marine search aircraft, the police helicopter and the RAC rescue helicopter were all expected to be involved in the search, along with marine rescue boats from Margaret River and Naturaliste and two boats from Busselton.

It is understood the yacht was in gear and the motor was running when it was located. Its sails were down.

"There was no person on the yacht when it was located," Insp. Blair said.

"A land, air and sea search is being conducted and coordinated by the water police rescue coordination centre."

The West Australian

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