Teens on missing yacht

NEW EVIDENCE: The yacht Munetra went missing in April.
NEW EVIDENCE: The yacht Munetra went missing in April.

Two of the three people on a yacht missing off New Zealand are teenagers.

Southland police area commander Inspector Lane Todd said the two teenagers, who are both 19, were visiting from overseas when they boarded a yacht in Bluff and have not been heard from since.

The pair were on board the 7.5-metre yacht called The Munetra with a 33-year-old German skipper, who lives in Southland, Todd said.

The Munetra left Bluff headed for Preservation Inlet in Fiordland on April 16, but has not been spotted or heard from since. It was due back in Bluff on Tuesday last week.

Police are not releasing the names of the trio, who have not been heard from for almost two weeks, because they have been unable to contact one of the families overseas, Todd said.

Police, search and rescue staff, the air force, Southern Lakes Helicopters and the coastguard air patrol had  since Friday searched for three full days in the area where the missing yacht was expected to be.

After a briefing last night, the search operation was changed to a "limited continuous search phase".

Police had hoped for a better outcome and thoughts and sympathies were with all families involved, Todd said.

Fairfax Media