Six People Rescued From Sinking Yacht

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Four adults and two children were rescued when their yacht sank after hitting rocks en route to Great Barrier Island early this morning. The people were picked up by helicopter after their 11m catamaran sank after hitting rocks near the Mokohinau Islands.

St John paramedic Andrew Ferguson was on one of the helicopters called out at about 5am and said they were “huddled together” on “a little rocky outcrop island”.

“A Westpac helicopter managed to get an initial medic down and retrieve a couple of people off the rocks, and then I was lowered down by winch onto the rocks and was able to retrieve the remaining persons.”

Police Maritime Unit supervisor sergeant Gary Larsen said police said the catamaran hit rocks but the six people aboard managed to get into a dinghy and make it ashore.

They were picked up by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Northland Rescue Helicopter and taken to Whangarei Hospital with minor injuries.

The catamaran, with four adults and two children on board, was on its way to Great Barrier Island from Whangaparaoa. It is now completely underwater with only the mast visible.

The Ports of Auckland pilot vessel Wakatere was also sent to the location.

Source: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust