11 Jan 2009

Four rescued from stricken boats

2:43 pm on 11 January 2009

Four people had lucky escapes on Sunday morning after being rescued from two broken-down boats.

In Napier, the Coastguard found two men drifting on a fishing boat with no means of raising the alarm.

The men, aged in their 50s, left Napier at 8pm on Saturday in a five-metre fishing boat without lifejackets, flares or a radio.

Another fisherman raised the alarm at 3am on Sunday when he saw their car and trailer still parked near the boat ramp.

A Coastguard vessel found the missing boat seven hours later drifting with a broken engine.

Meanwhile, a Cook Strait ferry rescued two people from a yacht with a broken mast.

The Bluebridge ferry Santa Regina had just left Picton about 7.30am when it received a mayday call from a catamaran in Tory Channel.

A spokesperson for Strait Shipping, which runs the ferry service, says the yachties were very pleased to see the ferry.

Police say the yacht is being towed to Wellington by a sea patrol vessel.