6 Aug 2014

Elderly couple rescued from yacht

2:28 pm on 6 August 2014

An elderly Swedish couple have been rescued from their damaged yacht about 230 kilometres north-east of the Cook Islands.

The Rescue Coordination Centre said the pair activated their emergency beacon on Tuesday afternoon because their vessel had lost its mast and they feared it would sink.

A spokesman for the centre, Steve Rendle, said an aircraft sent from Tahiti confirmed the nearest rescue vessel was an oil tanker, which was 10 hours' sailing away.

"It would have been a fairly stressful wait for that couple but at about nine o'clock this morning they were successfully taken aboard the tanker. They are now on their way to Tahiti."

Mr Rendle said the couple, aged 70 and 69, were rescued in four-metre-high swells.