24 Nov 2009

NZ rescuers pick up stricken Swiss sailor

12:11 pm on 24 November 2009

New Zealand rescuers have picked up a Swiss sailor who got into trouble while attempting a voyage around the world.

The skipper of the yacht Horizons reported steering problems in rough conditions on Sunday evening and was eventually located 800km west of Stewart Island.

The Rescue Coordination Centre says an air force Orion was sent to assess the situation and a cruise liner was diverted from Milford Sound.

The liner met the yacht about 8am on Tuesday and picked up the lone sailor.

The yacht was technically in Australian search and rescue waters, but physically closer to New Zealand, allowing staff to run the operation.

Australian authorities have issued a warning that the crippled yacht is a potential navigation hazard.