25 Jan 2015

Skipper pulled from water after two hours

4:22 pm on 25 January 2015

A boatie rescued in Northland last night says he was on the phone to emergency services as his historic yacht sank beneath him.

David Stemson was found in the water by the Coastguard about 1.30am today after his yacht, Celox, hit rocks and quickly sank near Motukawiti Island, several kilometres offshore from Matauri Bay.

He said the Coastguard did an amazing job in finding him after he managed to tell them where he was before he and his cellphone went under water.

He said his yacht was built in 1908 and he was now in the process of trying to salvage it.

Police said only the yacht's mast and sails were above water when it was found 500 metres from Motukawiti Island.

Inspector Andy Brill said coastguard and the rescue helicopter continued their search and the skipper was found swimming about 1.30am.

"I would say he's a very lucky person to have survived in the middle of the night in the ocean."