5 Nov 2010

NZ plane abandons search for missing Pacific sailor

4:12 pm on 5 November 2010

A New Zealand Air Force Orion has withdrawn from the search for a man who has fallen overboard from his yacht in the Pacific, 150 nautical miles west-south-west of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

The New Zealander was reported missing on Thursday afternoon as he was sailing with two others from Rarotonga to New Zealand on a 14-metre boat.

Maritime New Zealand says the chances of the man surviving are diminishing, despite the water being relatively warm, especially as he wasn't wearing a life jacket.

The Orion, a French military plane, and a container vessel had been searching for the sailor.