GRAHAM Palmer's trawler survived turbulent seas on a 400km trip without a captain and being washed ashore at Farnborough Beach.
But Mr Palmer's beloved boat, Rosella, couldn't escape the clutches of thieves.
The boat, built by the fisherman, was found banked on the Capricorn Coast (right) after drifting all the way up from Hervey Bay in early February.
Authorities were unable to get the boat back into water, so Mr Palmer came up to the Capricorn Coast and enlisted the help of a bulldozer on Monday.
Mr Palmer spent two and a half hours on Monday afternoon towing the boat down Farnborough Beach before waiting for the tide to carry it out to sea.
But he discovered the steering wheel, compass, anchor and an EPIRB were all stolen from the trawler.
A close friend of Mr Palmer's, Warwick Sheldon said the theft came after a lot of support from the local community.
"It's been a credit to the area, the way people have offered to help," Mr Sheldon said.
"I think it's probably the first time somebody's stolen his steering wheel."
Rosella was successfully refloated and moored at Rosslyn Bay Harbour yesterday.
Mr Palmer expects to leave for Hervey Bay once he has replaced the steering wheel.