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Resort heroes aid New Zealand sailors after yacht sinks

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 1 Jun 2012
Somosomo Strait, where the incident occurred - normally better known as a diving paradise SW

Two New Zealand sailors, a man and a woman, have been rescued by the staff of a Fijian resort after the yacht they were sailing sank in waters between two Fijian Islands.

The 14 metre yacht Touche hit a reef about 20nm east of Savusavu Harbour at the entrance to Somosomo Strait, which separates Taveuni island and Vanua Levu in Fiji and is normally better known as an idyllic snorkeling and diving paradise.


Kevin Banaghan of the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) said a 59-year-old man from Great Barrier Island and a 53-year-old Tauranga woman were rescued after the yacht sank around midday, New Zealand time.

The pair abandoned ship and activated their position-indicating radio beacon, which was received by the RCCNZ. It advised the Fiji Rescue Coordination Centre. However, the resort, 'Almost Paradise', which was close by, picked up the distress call and responded to the call. The resort staff then rescued them at 2pm by sending one of their tug boats to the location.

The couple are now being handed over to Immigration and Customs officials. This was confirmed by Fiji Navy Commander John Fox this morning.

'We have spoken to them and Immigration and Customs officials will assist them return home.' Commander Fox said.

Officials said both were safe and well, but their names have not been released.

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