Two missing after yacht wrecked
A search is underway for two who went missing after their yacht was found wrecked on a Tongan island.
The Navillus was found wrecked off the island of Late, west of the island of Vava'u on Thursday.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is coordinating the search for an Australian and an Englishman, both in their 60s, who reported in a satellite phone call to a relative in Victoria, Australia, that they had run aground and their Bavaria yacht was breaking up.
The pair set off an emergency locator beacon at about the same time at 10.30pm.
Search and rescue mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said an RNZAF Orion was sent to the area this morning but no sign of the men was found. Two fishing boats from Vava’u were also involved in the search.
“They have located the hull of the vessel, and seen a lot of debris,” Mr Lunt said.
“The yacht’s dinghy has been found, and an undeployed life raft, as well as a number of lifejackets.
“There are a number of potential landing points on the island near to where the hull was found, and crew from one of the search vessels has gone ashore to inspect these.”
RCCNZ said the fishing boats had left the search in order to reach port before nightfall, and RNZAF Orion would be landing in Tonga overnight. It is planned to resume the search tomorrow.
The yacht was understood to have been travelling from the Caribbean to Bundaberg.
- © Fairfax NZ News