9 Nov 2012

Tonga yacht rescue standing by

9:05 am on 9 November 2012

A British cargo ship is standing by a crippled yacht 700 kilometres off the coast of Tonga but is waiting for rough seas to ease before trying to rescue the two injured crew .

The New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre made contact with the pair, Welsh man, Steven Jones, who is 52 and a 43-year-old Auckland woman, Tanya Davies, after they set off their emergency beacon on Wednesday evening when their yacht Windigo capzised.

A centre spokesperson, Steve Rendle, says the captain of the cargo ship is in contact, but cannot safely transfer the pair until conditions ease.

"It's about 25 knot wind, and about 5 metre swells. So better than it was yesterday, when I think it was up to 40 knots and 10 metre swells, so things are easing, but still difficult."

Steve Rendle says another yacht has also arrived on the scene, and is giving the pair moral support.