Wreckage found from missing yacht

26 February 2007

Wreckage from a multi-hulled vessel has been found on Uonuku Island, halfway between Nuku’alofa and the Vava’u islands group, in Tonga.

Tongan Police told Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) the find was made on 7 February and that the name Manoah could clearly be seen on the wreckage. The 12.6m trimaran Manoah left Nelson with two crew aboard on 8 June in 2005 bound for Rarotonga but it was deemed overdue and a massive sea search was launched.

The subsequent search by a RNZAF Orion aircraft, which covered around 370,000 square kilometres, failed to find any sign of the missing crew and the search was suspended on 16 July 2005.

RCCNZ Search and Rescue Officer John Ashby said Tongan Police had informed them that there was no trace of the crew and the wreckage, which consisted of the main hull, was covered in barnacles and other sea matter and had obviously been in the water for some time.

“We have passed on all the information we have to the families concerned but unfortunately the find hasn’t provided any clues to what happened to Manoah or the fate of her crew.”

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