Search for yacht continues

18 February 2021

The search for a missing yacht continues today, with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Te Kaha still searching east of Coromandel near Great Mercury Island.

Two rescue helicopters, a Coastguard vessel and the Te Kaha were deployed by the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ after a sinking yacht made a mayday call at 6.30pm last night.

The vessel's coordinates were given as near Waiheke, but verbally the yacht’s location was given as ‘east of Coromandel’. An initial search failed to find the yacht at the coordinates given. Due to the VHF sites that received the transmissions it is believed to be east of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Search and Rescue officer Tracy Brickles said the rescue helicopters from Auckland and Tauranga had conducted a thorough search of the area last night.

“The Coastguard vessel was out on the water for several hours but was forced to turn back due to the weather and large swells. The Te Kaha continued its search overnight.

“The search operation is ongoing and we will be assessing our next steps later today.”

“We understand that two people are on board the yacht but we have no further information about the yacht, or what may have caused it to take on water, at this time.

A mayday relay is continuing to be broadcast to all vessels in the area.

Anyone with any information or possible sightings should contact police immediately by calling 111.

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