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Sea-sick yachties get a taste of the high life

Media Release

6 March 2008


Sea-sick yachties get a taste of the high life

Two dehydrated and sea-sick yachties (Canadian and Ukrainian) were able to recuperate in style on Monday afternoon, following their rescue by Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess.

The rescue saw the two stricken crew members taken off the catamaran Zero Gravity some 175 nautical miles off the west coast of the South Islandby the 113,000-tonne luxury liner, which was en route from Hobartto Milford Sound.

Sapphire Princess is in Dunedintoday and will visit Christchurchtomorrow.

Sapphire Princess’s Captain, Nick Bates, said the rescue operation took about 20 minutes.  It was coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Centre (MRC) and Maritime NZ's Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCCNZ) with the assistance of a spotter plane.

“The rescue was carried out using one of Sapphire Princess’s two fast rescue launches with a crew of specially trained ship personnel,” Captain Bates said.

“The operation took two trips between the yacht and the Sapphire Princess due to the severe weather conditions at the time.

“We were very pleased that we were able to assist the man and woman, and left the remaining crew some fresh supplies to make the remainder of their journey more comfortable.”

Captain Bates said the catamaran’s crew have recovered well and were looking forward to exchanging their temporary five-star berths for the more basic sailing experience on Zero Gravity.

During the summer months, the South Pacific based Sapphire Princess is a regular visitor to New Zealand, making up to eight port calls at Port Chalmers, Lyttelton, Tauranga and Auckland.




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