It may be the heartwarming airline story of the year, and it’s still generating social media goodwill for Canada’s flag carrier.
Rescuers had reached out to the airline to ask if one of their pilots could help spot the 10-foot boat, which had been adrift in the sea with a broken mast for some time.
The captain announced that he was going to bring the plane down to merely a mile above the open water, and asked for passengers to look out the windows and try to spot a yacht stranded off the coast of Australia.
Passengers craned their heads out of windows, and one even used a pair of binoculars he happened to have with him.
Amazingly, a co-pilot did in fact spot the yacht, which had been adrift 270 miles off the New South Wales coastline.
After alerting a rescue crew to the boat’s position, Flight AC033 continued on to Sydney and landed a mere 90 minutes behind schedule. The sailor was successfully rescued.
Air Canada notes that social media feedback about the unusual event has been overwhelmingly positive.
See more on this happy story in the Australian video report, below.