15 Aug 2008

Man charged with theft of a yacht

9:09 am on 15 August 2008

A man has been charged with stealing a yacht after it was washed ashore on the Coromandel Peninsula on Wednesday, sparking a search for survivors.

The vessel was stolen from an Auckland marina on Tuesday night and beached at Waiaro on the north-west coast of the peninsula.

The police say there was no-one on board the yacht when it was found and a search was started.

Local people alerted the police to a stranger in the area and an arrest was made.

Senior Constable John Morrissey says the man, 49, had limited sailing experience and was lucky to have made it to shore alive.