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Sailors rescued from life raft after yacht sinks near Whitianga


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#1 Fish

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:01 PM

Four sailors have been rescued from a drifting life raft after their yacht sank off the coast of Whitianga.

The stricken sailors – two men and two women – had to abandon their yacht, The Squander, as they were returning to New Zealand from Tonga.

About 9.30am on Sunday, the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ), received a distress alert – the four sailors had been forced to get into a life raft.

 

Been a long time since I've heard of a liferaft be used in anger in Coastal NZ waters.

No mention of use of flares.

lots of mention of electronic coms

 

"This crew were well equipped for the specific journey they were undertaking and had a distress beacon, satellite phone, HF radio and VHF radio.

 

Bit odd for a boat to just sink. Especially en-route from Tonga to NZ.

 

https://www.stuff.co...-near-whitianga


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#2 Island Time

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:50 PM

Lost her rig, structurally damaged deck when rig went. More to come....
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#3 Fish

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:51 PM

Completely different story from Stuff  on RNZ

Four sailors were rescued from a life raft this afternoon after abandoning their yacht off Great Barrier Island.

The yacht was on its way to Tonga when it sustained rigging damage, and was returning to New Zealand.

At 9.30am, the Rescue Co-ordination Centre received a distress alert sent from the crew's emergency beacon after they had abandoned their yacht.

The four crew members were winched into two Auckland Westpac Rescue helicopters and flown back to Auckland.

RCCNZ manager Mike Hill said the rescue highlighted how important it was to carry appropriate emergency communications equipment.

He said they advised boaties to carry at least two types of reliable emergency communications which would still work when wet.

 

https://www.rnz.co.n...damage-to-yacht


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#4 Island Time

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:55 PM

SQUANDER, part of this year's Pacific Circuit Rally. The four crew of Squander were airlifted from the vessel today. Squander was on passage back to New Zealand under jury rig following a rig failure enroute to Tonga. The mast was still up but unable to sail on a port tack. Today they were due to run out of fuel. Container ship MAERSK LAUNCESTON unsuccessfully attempted to give them fuel about 60nm 073° from Needle Point, Great Barrier. The crew had been attempting to reach Tauranga, however it was decided to airlift them to land after the fuel transfer attempt failed. All four are safe and well and at the Rescue Centre, Auckland. Heart felt love and good wishes are sent from us and all the participants of the 2019 Pacific Circuit Rally.
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#5 Priscilla II

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:58 PM

https://www.yit.nz/yacht/squander
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#6 Fish

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:49 PM

That must be so incredibly frustrating for the skipper and crew, to get nearly back to shore after a rig failure, then to not make it.

Just a bit of different weather, or some more diesel, what would have been....

 

I'm taking a punt that being 60 nm east of Gt Barrier, there would be some thoughts around a salvage? either getting diesel onboard, or a tow (assuming an ocean capable fizz boat or launch to get out there). I wouldn't be surprised if the insurance company takes over now, and things start getting less straight forward?

The weather is supposed to settle a bit about Tuesday / Wed. Just enough time to do some planning, sort the logistics and then execute the plan?


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#7 Fish

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:24 PM

Conversely, the skipper and crew can be justifiably happy and proud they got to within helicopter range before having to get off.

I'd far prefer a free ride in a helicopter than the challenge of getting alongside and then climbing up the side of one of those box ships. Not saying getting into the liferaft and helicopter is a walk in the park. But I know which I'd prefer if given an option.


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#8 MarkMT

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:28 PM

A fairly decent account here... https://www.nzherald...jectid=12240944


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#9 Dtwo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:03 PM

It will be interesting to hear their account of what happened.  Good outcome.


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#10 splat

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:35 PM

as an aside a life -raft was used in anger down here off Banks Peninsula a few weeks back when a 50ft yacht appeared to have hit a charted rock and sank very quickly, two crew rescued from the raft by local Westpac rescue


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