Several attempts were needed to rescue three people on a
yacht that began to take on water off the Bay of Islands
early this morning.
A call for help was made just after midnight from the
14-metre sloop Freedom Hunter, which was on its way to
Opua in the Far North from Fiji.
A yacht and container ship were diverted towards the yacht
where the Northland Emergency Helicopter Trust attempted to
winch salvage pumps and personnel on board, but the operation
had to be abandoned due to rough conditions.
About 5am, Coastguard volunteers set out on two metre seas to
try to transfer rescuers onto the yacht.
Arriving three hours later, they also found the conditions
were too rough to board.
Coastguard duty officer Ray Burge said the yacht was now in
"Bay rescue has escorted the vessel back into the shelter of
"They're now going to tow the vessel into Maunganui Harbour
and put it alongside the jetty there."
He said arrangements would be made for a local boatyard to
assess the damage once the tide was out.
Everyone on board was safe but tired, having been up all
- By Cassandra Mason of nzherald.co.nz