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Auckland's Americas Cup Police Kept Busy

Operation Marlin's waterborne staff have been kept busy during the Louis Vuitton Cup racing - assisting Young America syndicate's stricken yacht and attending a charter boat fire.

Police vessels responded quickly to the Young America syndicate's mayday call when their yacht appeared to be breaking up as it rounded the third mark last week.

Deodar II and at least three of the Police Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) were alongside the stricken vessel within minutes of the call.

Sergeant Martin Paget, O/C Water, said first and foremost Police had to ensure the safety of all crew involved and minimise any risk to them.

He said it was then a matter of ensuring the syndicate had appropriate emergency equipment and expertise to deal with the situation.

" It certainly tested our coordinated response, and it's encouraging to know that there are a number of organisations working together on this event with the resources and expertise available to cope with these types of incidents.

"Pumps, air bags and other damage control equipment were quickly forthcoming from Police, the Auckland Regional Council (Harbourmaster), Navy, race officials and other syndicate support vessels,

Police put a pump on board the yacht and Police staff also went on board to set it up and ensure it was working efficiently.

"All Police staff then returned to the police vessels in the interests of safety," said Sergeant Paget.

Seven Young America crewmembers reboarded the yacht to work the pumps and try to stabalise the yacht which was under tow by its support vessel. Police vessels remained alongside for the slow trip back to the syndicate base. The return journey (still currently underway) was expected to take at least three hours.

Police also attended a fire on board a charter boat during racing today. The alternator on Kawalani's motor caught fire. A Police RHIB was quickly on the scene and a crewmember with extinguishers deployed to the charter boat to back up charter boat crew.

However, Kawalani's crew armed with fire extinguishers put the fire out and there was no danger to the nine passengers on board.

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