8 Jan 2012

Helicopter drops equipment to disabled yacht

8:00 pm on 8 January 2012

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre is monitoring a stricken yacht drifting off the west coast of Northland.

The yacht's three person crew activated its emergency locator beacon at 7.30pm on Saturday, about five nautical miles off the coast of Kaipara, after the yacht's mast was broken in heavy seas.

The centre says a rescue helicopter flew out to the yacht on Saturday night, but did not remove the crew, as they were comfortable and happy to wait for a tow.

A Kaipara coast guard vessel tried to reach the yacht on Saturday and again on Sunday morning, but failed due to the rough conditions.

A rescue helicopter has dropped communications equipment to the yacht on Sunday, with instructions for the crew to regularly update the Rescue Co-ordination Centre with its position.

The centre says the crew are not in distress, but will likely have to wait until Monday for the weather conditions to improve before another rescue can be attempted.