7 Jun 2010

Helicopter plucks two yachties to safety

10:18 pm on 7 June 2010

A helicopter has been used to pluck two people from a yacht in distress off the coast of Northland.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre says the Dutch man and woman in their late 60s had set off their emergency beacon at about 9pm on Sunday, 60 nautical miles east of Ahipara.

They had set off from Nelson five days ago in their 14-metre yacht Matahari but earlier on Sunday had indicated that they were in difficulty and heading for shelter.

Search and rescue officer John Dixon says an aircraft from Hamilton found the yacht and the Auckland Westpac rescue helicopter winched them to safety on Monday morning.

Another search and rescue officer, John Ashby, says the rescued pair were experienced sailors and did all the right things.

The yacht was still adrift off Northland on Monday afternoon.