VISION FOR CHANGE: Bill Nobes on his new yacht, the Iron Will.
VISION FOR CHANGE: Bill Nobes on his new yacht, the Iron Will. Jessica Perkins

Retiree's dementia mission hits rough seas in Gladstone

AN 85-YEAR-OLD Western Australian man determined to raise awareness about dementia has run into rough seas while offshore off Gladstone.

Bill Nobes bought a yacht two weeks ago in Bundaberg with a vision to set up a foundation to raise awareness for dementia, after watching his partner, Elizabeth, struggle with the disease since the early 2000s.

But one night into his journey back to Albany, Western Australia, MrNobes' yacht's engine blewoff Bundaberg.

While heading to Gladstone to find help, MrNobes and his friend Harvey Boxwell ran into rough weather, the main sail tearing.

Consequently, Gladstone Volunteer Marine Rescue crew were called out to assist the two men on board on Saturday.

Gladstone VMR public relations officer Peter Cameron said the men were fortunate something more serious didn't occur.

"A quick response from VMR prevented the yacht anchor dragging the men into more trouble."

Mr Nobes said his goal was, and still is, to return to Albany, fix up the yacht and set up the foundation.

He believes there isn't enough being done to help those suffering with dementia.

"There's such a crisis within disability care," MrNobes said.

Eventually, MrNobes hopes the yacht will become the foundation's "information centre" for locals in different towns to reach out to as it travels around Australia.

He wants to hang a banner up so people immediately know the yacht represents dementia awareness.

"The banner is to let people know where we are," MrNobes said.

"There are thousands of (people) out there like me ... and I want to meet how many people there are in the area that are actually suffering from dementia.

"It's the perfect platform to go from town to town."

"If it all fails, I have done the wrong thing, but if it works, I have done a mighty good thing."