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Abandoned yacht found

DATE: 28 MAY 2008

Abandoned yacht found

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has identified a yacht found drifting off the Northland coast yesterday as the Air Apparent, abandoned more than two months ago.

The 7.9m sloop was abandoned in poor weather off the Kaipara coast on March 25, after its crew set off their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), reportedly against the wishes of the skipper.

RCCNZ launched a rescue after picking up the EPIRB’s signal and the crew and skipper of the vessel were all safely recovered.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Officer Chris Wilson said a Royal New Zealand Airforce Orion on patrol from Whenuapai had located the abandoned yacht upright and drifting with its mast intact and its sail dragging in the water, about 210 nautical miles (389 km) off North Cape around 12.30pm yesterday.

However, the identity of the vessel was initially unclear.

“Photographs taken by the Orion crew were then sent to RCCNZ, who were able to identify the yacht as the Air Apparent,” Ms Wilson said.

Ms Wilson said RCCNZ had contacted the owner advising him that the yacht had been located.

Any potential salvage operation is now a matter for the owner and his insurance company.


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