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Four Rescued From Stricken Yacht

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 19 NZPA - Two people are in hospital -- one with a fish hook in her right buttock -- after being rescued from a stricken yacht off the Kaikoura coast this morning.

Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) search and rescue officer Ramon Davis said the 9m yacht Marguerite was 16.5 nautical miles southeast of Kaikoura when a large wave disabled the steering and knocked out its electronics about 8am.

The three men and one woman aboard activated their emergency beacon, as well as calling for help on a cell phone and UHF radio.

A Coastguard vessel reached the boat within two hours and battled "fierce" weather, including 5m waves and 30-40 knot winds, to rescue those aboard.

"They had trouble locating the yacht at first because visibility was so bad, and the yacht had to set off two flares to signal their position," Kaikoura-based Search and Rescue co-ordinator Jack Kemp said.

"It was extremely difficult to get the passengers on to Kaikoura Rescue [the Coastguard vessel].

"It was a job well done by the volunteers; because of the sea conditions it could have been a lot worse."

Those on board were from Christchurch and Nelson and were en route to Lyttelton from the Marlborough Sounds.

Two were taken to Kaikoura Hospital -- the skipper with a suspected broken wrist and the woman passenger with a fish hook in her right buttock.

Mr Kemp said all four were experienced sailors and had the correct safety equipment on board.

A coastal navigation warning has been issued to alert vessels to the disabled yacht adrift off Kaikoura.

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