31 Oct 2017

Yacht in trouble again off the Cooks

5:59 pm on 31 October 2017

Cook Islands police patrol boatTe Kukupa is on a rescue mission after a distress alert was sent by the yacht Zangano, which was about 500km southwest of Rarotonga yesterday.

Cook Islands Police Patrol Boat Te Kukupa

Cook Islands Police Patrol Boat Te Kukupa Photo: RNZI/Florence Syme Buchanan

Police said the vessel was expected to reach the yacht this afternoon.

The Zangano was reported to have lost its steering and the sole person onboard is believed to be the new owner who recently purchased the ill-fated yacht in Rarotonga.

He was said to have injured his hand.

To make the situation worse, seas are currently heavy and rough.

The Australian-registered yacht featured in regional news when it arrived in Rarotonga in September last year minus a female crew member.

The then owner Alex Roehrs told Cook Islands police the crew member, 44-year-old Venezuelan Lissette Brito, had fallen overboard and he'd been unable to find her after searching for two hours.

This is the second time the Cook Islands Police patrol boat has been despatched to rescue the Zangano after Mr Roehrs reportedly tried to scuttle the vessel a short distance off Rarotonga earlier this year.