26 Nov 2012

Air Force contacts damaged British yacht

6:02 am on 26 November 2012

An Air Force Orion has made contact with a lone British sailor on a damaged yacht sailing from Fiji to Noumea.

There were fears for the sailor when contact with the yacht, Troutbridge, was lost after a storm on Thursday.

However Mike Roberts from Maritime New Zealand says the Air Force managed to contact the yacht by radio on Sunday.

He says the yacht has been damaged but its pumps are working well and it is still heading for Noumea.

"He's got some leaks, one sail has been destroyed, one damaged, one sail remaining and he's single handing, it's one person on their own, he's still got an emergency beacon, a life raft and life jacket,

the normal sort of things you would expect to find on a long range cruising yacht like this."

The Orion made contact with the boat while on its way to search for three fishermen who are three days overdue from a fishing trip near Kiribati.