Larry beats the odds to get back on the water

JUST six months ago, dementia sufferer Larry Pullen passed each day watching the comings and goings of the Hastings River on a chair at the front of his house.

Last week, he proved the illness had not taken over his life by relaunching a 12.2m yacht he restored himself.

Mr Pullen worked on the splendid vessel with friend David McManus for the last four months, with help from Maritime Museum president Keith Chambers and boatyard staff.

On Thursday, 12.2m Trusan was relaunched on the Hastings River.

"I found myself looking up at sky and wasting away," Mr Pullen said.

"One day, I just snapped out of it and wanted to do something."

Instead of going to the respite centre, he kept myself busy by doing something he loves.

The 72-year-old said the project had helped him a lot by keeping his mind and body active.

His loving wife Glenda was very supportive of the restoration.

Trusan had been landlocked at Coopernook for 10 years before it was hoisted onto a truck and transported to The Maritime Museum boatyard at Port Macquarie.

It was originally built in 1967 at East Fremantle, Western Australia, and was in poor condition when Mr Pullen found it.

Sir Frank Vincent Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout movement, was a former owner of the yacht.

Trusan is the third boat Mr Pullen has restored in 20 years and was the perfect project to help him get involved with life again.

He presented his story and motivation for taking on the project at a Port Macquarie Men's Group meeting a fortnight ago.

"I wanted to tell the men about the project so they can see they need to keep going, get involved and do as much as you can, whenever you can," a determined Mr Pullen said.

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