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Well-known Tauranga sailor and local Act Party candidate Stuart Pedersen has been identified as the victim of the fatal yachting accident in Northland.
Pedersen died after a yacht he and three others were in sank north of Cape Brett yesterday.
ACT Party leader David Seymour said members of his party were in a state of shock following the news.
He said Pedersen was an "incredibly kind and hospitable man", who had the most "giving heart".
The party were all thinking of Pedersen's wife Pamela at this time and would provide support in any way they could, he said.
Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club confirmed in a statement that the man who died was club member Stuart Pedersen, Sunlive reported today.
"You may have seen news reports about a yacht which sank earlier today off Cape Brett, with one sailor dead, and another three in hospital in serious condition," says the club in the statement.
"My information is that the deceased sailor is one of our leading club members, tornado sailor and chairman of BOPSAT, Stuart Pedersen.
"Fellow club member Bruce Goodwin, Stuart's wife Pamela and Pamela's brother-in-law Steve are the survivors.
"Bruce and Steve have been released from hospital but unfortunately, Pamela is still in intensive care."
The New Zealand Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a distress call from the occupants of the 47-foot yacht floundering in choppy seas, about 20km north of Cape Brett, about 1pm on Monday.
Communication from the four sailors said they were abandoning their vessel, having lost their liferaft in the 5 to 6m swells and 40- to 50-knot gusts.
The Orion located the four people in the water around 2.47pm and dropped a raft, before the Westpac Rescue Helicopter winched them up, but one of the people died.
One sailor was in a critical condition while two others were moderate.
Investigations on what caused the yacht to sink and where the sailors were heading to are ongoing.
-Bay of Plenty Times.