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Two distressed yachties being rescued

Two distressed yachties being rescued

Two people are being rescued from a yacht battling gale-force winds and huge seas, 740 kilometres northeast of North Cape.

A satellite detected the yacht’s emergency distress signal late yesterday. As no vessels were in the area, the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ tasked an Orion to assist.

RCCNZ Mission Coordinator John Ashby says the Orion located the yacht Scot Free at about 9.30am this morning.

“The two people on board are both well, but Scot Free has lost its global positioning system, the yacht has torn sails and there’s no diesel fuel for the motor.

“We’ve got the nearest available vessel, a medium-sized merchant ship, on its way to help rescue the crew. We estimate they should meet up about midday tomorrow.

“Unfortunately, the appalling weather conditions – sea swells of six to seven metres and gale force winds - have hindered other vessels in the area from going to their rescue,” he said.

This rescue follows a busy weekend for RCCNZ which has helped three yachties in distress. On Saturday, an exhausted solo yachtie had to abandon his yacht Gypsy Rose III after he got in to difficulty 450 nautical miles north east of New Zealand, and was rescued by a container vessel. Yesterday, two female crew were rescued from their yacht Bird of Passage which had lost its mast in storms south of Tonga.

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