Three people were plucked to safety from a liferaft after
abandoning their stricken yacht north of New Zealand in a
dramatic rescue today.
The 11 metre yacht Django was on a return trip from Fiji and
170 nautical miles north of North Cape when Rescue
Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) was alerted this
morning that it had issued a mayday call, picked up by
The yacht's rudder was becoming detached, putting the vessel
in danger of sinking, Maritime NZ said.
The crew of two men and one woman were ready to abandon ship.
RCCNZ tasked two vessels in the area, the log carrier Laura
Bulker which was en route from Tauranga to China and 60
nautical miles from the stricken yacht, and the Royal New
Zealand Navy patrol vessel HMNZS Otago, which was 90 nautical
The Otago arrived alongside Django at about 5.30pm, with the
Laura Bulker on scene shortly after and standing by while the
naval vessel carried out the rescue.
The Django's crew abandoned ship into a liferaft, but as it
was being hauled across to the Otago they feared the larger
vessel was about to roll over and crush them in the heavy
seas, and they cut the rope.
The Otago then sent a swimmer into the water with another
rope, to tie the liferaft on again and bring it alongside.
The crew are now safely on board the Otago, which is en route
to Devonport in Auckland and expected to arrive around 9am
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Neville Blakemore
praised the Otago and Laura Bulker for their prompt response
to the request for help, and the skilful rescue in difficult
The yacht and liferaft were still afloat when the vessels
departed the area, and a navigation warning has been issued
to advise mariners of its position.