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Cargo Ship Rescues Crew From Damaged Yacht Off New Zealand

By MarEx 2012-11-19 13:27:00

Two injured people from the damaged yacht Windigo are now safely aboard the cargo ship Chengtu after a rescue just before 9am this morning.

Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Keith Allen from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said heaving lines were lowered from the cargo vessel to the damaged yacht and the 52-year-old British man and the 43-year-old Auckland woman pulled aboard.

Both people aboard the Windigo sustained mild to moderate head injuries after their 11.6m yacht rolled after leaving Tonga two days ago 700km southwest of Tonga and 1260km northwest of New Zealand. The man has also suffered a back injury. None of the injuries are believed to be serious.

The pair’s medical condition will be assessed and the Chengtu will now head south to rendezvous with the Navy vessel HMNZS Otago [pictured in thumb image] late this afternoon.

Mr Allen paid tribute to the efforts of the Chengtu, the yacht Adventure Bound, which has also been on-site overnight, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force, which provided a P3-Orion that made three trips to the stricken yacht providing the only communications link. A French naval plane also made two trips from Noumea to the scene.

“This is the outcome we have been working towards since the emergency beacon was activated on Wednesday afternoon.  It is the result of an excellent coordinated effort involving the RNZAF, which provided a link for the two people on the Windigo when there was no other means of contact, and I would also like to express my appreciation to the captain of the Chengtu and the crew of the Adventure Bound for their efforts.”

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Source: Maritime New Zealand