A Kiwi yacht rescued a shipwrecked British family on remote Pacific reef
Crew of a New Zealand yacht have come to the rescue of a British family whose boat ran aground on a remote reef in the Pacific Ocean.
The Rescue Co-ordination Centre of New Zealand received a 2.30am distress call from the stricken boat and co-ordinated with the nearby New Zealand yacht, which was anchored inside the reef, to retrieve the shipwrecked couple and their two children.
The family's 15-metre catamaran had run aground in heavy seas on Beveridge Reef, a remote area 400km south east of Niue.
Senior search and rescue officer Geoff Lunt said the British family were very lucky the New Zealand yacht happened to be anchored nearby as there were no other vessels anywhere in the vicinity at that time.
"The skipper of a New Zealand-registered 18-metre steel ketch answered the emergency radio call from our Maritime Operations Centre within seven minutes."
The stranded catamaran was taking on water but was well aground on the reef. This meant the rescue crew could wait until daylight to take a dinghy outside the reef and collect the family.
Lunt said the family left their yacht, which was likely to break up on the reef, with just their passports and were now safe.
The family planned to sail to Niue in the next few days.