NZ yachtsman lucky to be alive after found clinging to life raft

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Nov 2017, 5:41PM
An RNZAF Hercules spotted the troubled skipper in waters 160 kilometres east of Norfolk Island. (Photo / NZ Herald)
An RNZAF Hercules spotted the troubled skipper in waters 160 kilometres east of Norfolk Island. (Photo / NZ Herald)

NZ yachtsman lucky to be alive after found clinging to life raft

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 Nov 2017, 5:41PM

It's been a lucky escape for a New Zealand yachtsman, who's been rescued in one of the busier parts of the Pacific Ocean.

The man activated his emergency beacon early this morning, after his yacht got into trouble in dangerous seas.

The crew of a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules spotted the skipper waving from a life raft, around 160 kilometres east of Norfolk Island.

The rescue team dropped a survival pack with water, food and a note to the man, before he was picked up by a cargo vessel.

The vessel had a difficult time getting a rescue boat in the water, because of strong winds, high seas and three metre swell.

Search and Rescue coordinator Dave Wilson said it's a popular area for ships travelling between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

''If he had been further east, that's in an area that is less likely to have traffic. He was rescued in a better area where there are ships going by.''

The man was attempting to sail to New Zealand from Vanuatu.

His yacht hasn't been found yet.