20 Jun 2012

Search for missing yachtsmen begins today on Tongan island

7:12 am on 20 June 2012

A party of nine searchers will today comb the Tongan island of Late, west of Vava'u, for any sign of two Australian men missing after their yacht was wrecked last Thursday.

The men, who are both in their sixties, made a satellite phone call to a relative in the Australian state of Victoria, saying they had run aground and the yacht was breaking up.

An extensive two-day aerial search has failed to locate the men and after two days of rough seas, two fishing vessels dropped the search team on the island yesterday.

New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Centre Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Mike Roberts says the search of the island should be completed today.