31 Aug 2008

Man dead after yacht capsizes

8:39 pm on 31 August 2008

A man died after a yacht capsized off the coast of Tauranga on Sunday morning.

The National Rescue Coordination Centre says it received an alert from an emergency beacon at 5.20am.

A 12-metre yacht was found overturned about 14km offshore between Mayor and Motiti Islands just before 7am with one male survivor on the hull.

The body of a second man was found in the water nearby and he is now receiving treatment at Tauranga Hospital.

The centre says the yacht appeared to have lost its keel.

The yacht was travelling between Gisborne - Tauranga and was crewed by two men in their 50s, both from the Napier region.

Police say the cause of the accident has not yet been established.

They say the man who died reportedly had difficulties with his life jacket and was eventually overwhelmed by the conditions.

Police say the yacht tipped portside causing the mast to flounder in the water, before the swell swamped the main sail and capsized the yacht completely.

Maritime New Zealand says it will investigate further once an incident report has been filed.