ABOVE: Joyous ran aground near the Whitsundays after Bruce blacked out. Photo: Contributed
Bruce Dorrell from Evans Head survived a near tragic accident on October 18 as he was bringing his new yacht, Joyous, home from Cairns.
Three days after he set sail from Queensland, Joyous ran aground near the Whitsunday Islands.
On that fatal morning as Bruce set sail from Bowen, he blacked out.
It could have been a heart attack or something else, doctors are still unsure.
He was in the galley when he collapsed and fell headfirst under a table.
Some hours later he came to after being woken by loud crashing and banging as Joyous hit the rocks and ran aground on the north side of Hook Island.
Bruce was able to radio for help and not long after was airlifted to Mackay Hospital. During the assessment of his injuries, doctors identified a small shadow on his lungs and tests are being carried out.
The yacht is Bruce’s home. It is all he has left after caring for his wife Joy who originally suffered a stroke in July 2015 and then was diagnosed with cancer not long after.
Friend Kim Steedman said Bruce never complained while caring for Joy and “always saw the light ahead no matter how hard circumstances became”.
Sadly, Joy died in Bruce’s arms at their Evans Head home.
“Being Bruce, he eventually picked himself up and bought the boat of his dreams,” Kim said.
“Bruce was an extremely experienced skipper in his day. He decided it was time to bring Joyous home to Evans Head.”
Until the boat ran aground.
Bruce’s brother Keith Dorrell is arranging for Bruce’s boat to be salvaged.
The cost comes to an alarming $16,500 with an additional $5,000 to have it mounted on a stand so the salvage team get it to port for repair.
Sadly, everything is ruined but they did find Joy’s ashes though