DATE: 31 AUGUST 2008
One person has been found dead following the capsize of a yacht off the Tauranga coast this morning.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) launched a rescue mission for the crew of the yacht after receiving and alert from a 406MHz emergency position indicating radio beacon at 5.20am today. The EPIRB was followed shortly after by a maritime radio Mayday call and the sighting of two distress flares.
The Trust Power Rescue Helicopter, a Phillips Rescue Trust fixed wing aircraft and a Tauranga Coastguard vessel were sent to search for the yacht, which was found overturned near Motiti Island just before 7am. One male survivor was located on the overturned hull of the 12m yacht, and the body of a second crewman was found in the water nearby. The yacht appeared to have lost its keel.
Details of the men’s identities cannot be released until Police have notified the next of kin. Police have responsibility for releasing the names of the deceased.
Maritime New Zealand will be making follow up inquiries as to the cause of the incident.