6 DECEMBER 2007
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The overdue sailing ship Alvei has been located approximately 760km north of North Cape, New Zealand, a 11.45am today. All on board are safe and the ship is expected to arrive in Opua, Northland, in 8-10 days.
Aircraft have been searching for the overdue ship since yesterday, after a concerned relative of one of the ship’s crew contacted RCCNZ.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Mike Roberts, said a Royal New Zealand Airforce Orion had found the Alvei while searching an area along its intended track to New Zealand. The Orion’s crew had made radio contact with her and all on board were safe, he said. The skipper reported that the reason for her delayed progress was because of unfavourable winds.
“RCCNZ thanks everyone who has been involved in the search, which included agencies from New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia. This is an excellent result and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all involved.”
The 92 foot steel-hulled sailing ship left Port Vila, Vanuatu, on 13 November with nine people on board. The crew/passengers are believed to be aged between 27 and 66 years of age and are made up of three Americans, four Australians, one Kiwi and one Englishman. The Alvei had been scheduled to reach New Zealand on 1 December, but concerns were raised when no she did not arrive as scheduled.