The family of Australian sailor Anthony
The family of Australian sailor Anthony "Johnny" Mahoney, who died in the Philippines say it took rescue crews too long to find him and his crew. Picture: Facebook

Sailor’s family lashes out at rescue effort

THE family of an Australian sailor who died following a yachting accident off the Philippines believe authorities took too long to find him and his fellow crewmen.

Anthony "Johnny" Mahoney, 73, of Townsville was part of a three-man crew on an 18m yacht called the Katerina, which the Australian Maritime Safety Authority says activated emergency beacons on Thursday.

It's reported the crew spent five days on board a small dinghy in the ocean before being rescued by a Filipino fishing crew on Monday.

Mr Mahoney died but his two crewmates survived the ordeal.

Mr Mahoney's stepdaughter Shannon Grasso told AAP authorities took "days and days" to find the missing men, a delay which she believes cost him his life considering his age and his time in the elements without food.

"I don't want others risking their life and I would like to think they did all they could. But it does seem like a long time for them to find them," she said.

Ms Grasso said "Johnny" had been a much-loved singer in the Townsville area and spent eight years living in Malaysia with his late wife Shelley.

Tragically, Shelley also lost her life at sea in a sailing accident in Malaysia in 2014.

Ms Grasso said a five-hour delay in assisting Shelley by authorities had also occurred in that accident.

"We can't believe it's happened again," she said.

"Not many families go through this once, let alone a second time."



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