Vila Times

Yachtsman got in trouble on the way from Vanuatu to New Zealand

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A New Zealander has been picked up from his life raft in three metre seas and 30 knot winds after his yacht sunk off the coast of Norfolk Island on the way from Vanuatu to Marsden Point.

A Defence Force Hercules aircraft and a commercial fishing boat were called into help search for the man after he activated a distress beacon 166 kilometres east of Norfolk Island, reports RNZI.

The C-130 Hercules spotted the man, who was being buffeted by strong winds and 3m swells, just before midday.

Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Dave Wilson said the man got into trouble when his mast broke and went through the hull.

“His yacht sank but he was able to get into his life raft and set off his emergency locator beacon, which is an essential piece of emergency equipment that we recommend everyone have.”

The man was sailing single-handed from Vanuatu to Marsden Point in a 10 metre sloop called the Waimanu.