Rescuers have failed to find two men missing off the coast of Tonga after a second day of searching.
An Englishman and Australian, both in their 60s, have been missing since Thursday night when their yacht ran aground on the island of Late, near Vava'u, Tonga.
An on-water search yesterday, which involved two local fishing boats and an aerial search by Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ), located the hull of the yacht, debris and an undeployed life raft.
But despite canvassing 191 square nautical miles in the ocean, the rescue operation failed to locate the men.
Today, a local fishing vessel searched waters near Late Island, and a fixed wing aircraft conducted an aerial search, with no success.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Tracy Brickles said searching had now finished for the day.
''The fishing vessel has today comprehensively covered the likely area as identified through our drift modelling,'' Brickles said.
''Conditions were good for searching and our search crews are confident they would have seen the men if they had been in the water.
''On-water and aerial searching is now complete.''
Brickles said crew from one of the fishing vessels had gone ashore yesterday to check the nearest landing points to the area the wreck was found.
However, RCCNZ was in the process of organising a team of locals to do a more comprehensive search of the island.
''We hope to have a team of locals onshore searching tomorrow, or Monday at the latest, depending on availability of people and transport.''
The Police in Victoria are coordinating contact with the next of kin.
RCCNZ said they will not release the names of those involved.
Brickles said survival time in the water was only 36 hours, but would be longer if lifejackets were worn.
The men had reported via a satellite phone call to a relative in Australia on Thursday night that they had run aground and their Bavaria yacht was breaking up.
An emergency locator beacon was activated at the same time, around 10.30pm.
It is understood the men, both Australian citizens, were sailing the 50ft yacht Navillus from the Caribbean to Bundaberg, Australia.
An aircraft will search the island today for signs of the men while a fishing vessel will conduct an on-water search using plans determined by RCCNZ based on drift patterns.
Conditions in the area were good for searching, Brickles said.
Crew from one fishing vessel went ashore yesterday near where the hull was found, but did not locate the men.
- © Fairfax NZ News