Sailor Dead after Yacht Loses Keel

Tauranga Coast Guard assisted in the rescue of one of the sailors
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A yacht capsize off the Tauranga Coast in New Zealand this morning, which appears to be caused by the loss of the keel, has left one sailor dead. The second crewman survived by clutching on to the upturned hull.

Maritime rescuers received a May Day call in the early hours of this morning, due to the activation of an EPIRB, followed by the sighting of two distress flares apparently set off by the survivor.

A search using a Trustpower Rescue Helicopter, plane and a Tauranga Coastguard boat were sent out after 5:00am and found the overturned 12 metre yacht, near Motiti Island just before 7:00am.

Trustpower Rescue Helicopter
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The surviving man was clinging to the hull and the body of a second crewman was found in the water nearby.

Ross Henderson from the Rescue Coordination Centre says Maritime New Zealand will be investigating.