One dead, one missing after yacht flips during race

The race's tracking program last recorded the yacht's position at 11.30pm Friday night. Source Bunbury and Return Ocean Race

A PERSON died and four people were rescued after a yacht participating in the Bunbury and Return Ocean Race overturned off Mandurah overnight.

Details were scant but police are expected to hold a press conference at some stage today.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) detected a distress beacon around 2.45am AEDT following the capsize of the 15 metre Finisher well of the coast of Mandurah just before midnight.

Passengers on the helicopter saw the overturned yacht in the water at 1.30am.

Police are still trying to piece together what happened to Finistere, a three-time Sydney-to-Hobart yacht skippered by popular Fremantle yachtsman Ron Thomas, late on Friday.

Rescue crews were called out in the early hours of Saturday morning after the boat overturned during the Bunbury and Return Ocean Race south of Perth.

The yacht was about 11 nautical miles southwest of Mandurah.

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Attemptsto contact the yacht directly via radio were unsuccessful and the yacht'stracker failed to update at 12am AWST.

A massive search operation is still underway for the sixth crew member despite rough conditions.

Crew members were pulled from the water by other yachts taking part in the race.

AMSA is coordinating a search for the missing crew member in an area of about 90 square nautical miles, 22 nautical miles west southwest of Mandurah.

The survivors have been taken to shore for medical treatment.

A rescue helicopter eventually found the capsized yacht at 3.30am, before police, marine rescue crews and two race-participating yachts joined the search for the missing sailor.

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