Kiwi woman on stricken yacht

The injured crew of a yacht that rolled in 10m seas between New Zealand and Tonga are awaiting rescue after activating their emergency beacon yesterday evening.

A 43-year-old Auckland woman and a 52-year-old British man are understood to have sustained mild to moderate head injuries after their yacht - the 11.6m (38ft) Windigo - rolled. The man also has a back injury, Maritime NZ reports.

The yacht left Tonga two days ago.

The yacht is afloat, but disabled and taking on water about 700km southwest of Tonga and 1260km northeast of New Zealand in 40 knot (75kmh winds).

A RNZAF P3-Orion from Whenuapai reached the scene at 1am today, establishing communications with the yacht and dropping a liferaft.

It returned to New Zealand to refuel and is now en route to investigate a second distress beacon from an unknown vessel which was activated around 5am this morning 230km southwest of Tonga.

Few vessels are in the area.

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