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Birds Eye View of Daring Rescue

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
11 October 2005

Birds Eye View of Daring Rescue

The Air Force Orion involved in this evening rescue of the Janette Gay has arrived back at RNZAF Base Whenuapai.

The crew on board the aircraft spent over five hours today flying over the stricken yacht and maintained radio contact with the crew says Aircraft Captain, FLTLT Keith Bartlett.

“We passed on a message given to the RCCNZ from close friends of the yacht's crew. It was a joke from a Monty Python sketch:

"What lives in the ocean, has four legs and gets caught in nets?" The skipper replied with the punch line straight away: "Underwater goats with aqualungs and snorkels!"’ Said Flight Lieutenant Bartlett.

The crew on board the Orion coordinated the rescue of the two people on board the vessel, which took place shortly before 7pm.

Flight Lieutenant Bartlett describes what took place below the RNZAF Orion.

“Janette Gay's skipper tied an orange sail to the deck to make it easier to spot, then he managed to restart the yacht's engine and fashioned a tiller to enable control over the vessel.“

“Once they were close to each other the rescue vessel lowered a gangway and the Janette Gay slowly approached the cargo ship. Both survivors boarded the gangway, which was quickly raised.”

“It’s been a long day, but obviously the outcome is a huge relief for all involved,” said Flight Lieutenant Bartlett.

ENDS

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