21 Apr 2009

Crew plucked to safety after running into trouble again

9:15 pm on 21 April 2009

Emergency services have rescued the crew of a yacht that was in difficulty between North Cape and Norfolk Island.

The Rescue Coordination Centre says the 13-metre vessel, Boundless, sailing from Brisbane, activated a second distress beacon on Tuesday afternoon.

It had run out of fuel 280 kilometres north west of North Cape.

An emergency services helicopter took fuel to the boat but the crewmembers decided to abandon ship and were winched to safety about 5pm. They are now safe in Whangarei.

The first emergency beacon was activated on Monday afternoon, and an Air Force Orion established contact with the two men and one woman on board. It learned that the vessel's sail had been damaged

The crew had been told to continue heading for New Zealand, as the weather was moderate and they were believed to have enough fuel.

The Commanding Officer of Number 5 Squadron, Wing Commander Nick Olney, says the crew had the appropriate safety equipment, and knowing how and when to use it has saved significant time, and potentially three lives.

A navigation warning has been issued for ships to avoid the abandoned yacht.