Yacht found: Search over after mayday call from sinking yacht near Coromandel Peninsula

The yacht feared missing since last night off the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula has been found, with both occupants on board believed to be safe.

Maritime NZ’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) began co-ordinating the search about 6.30pm yesterday after a brief and partial mayday call was received.

Senior Search and Rescue Officer Chris Henshaw said at about 2pm today

a vessel advised that it was the one that had broadcast the mayday call.

RCCNZ is standing down the search aircraft and vessel, Henshaw said.

Following yesterday’s mayday call search and rescue officers believed there were two people on board and there were serious concerns for their safety, however they had trouble locating the vessel.

The location was given to be near Waiheke. But a search to find the vessel found nothing – and officials think the yacht may have given an incorrect location.

Then this morning it was believed the yacht was around the east of the Coromandel Peninsula, off the coast of Pauanui.

The Navy ship HMNZS Te Kaha had been searching for the missing boat throughout the night; while two rescue helicopters – from Auckland and Tauranga – and a Coastguard boat were


The helicopters and Coastguard vessel were called back after searching for several hours, however, due to heavy swells in the area.

'All they said was they're taking on water and sinking'

Search and Rescue officer Tracy Brickles said earlier a difficulty was the yacht didn’t give any name of the vessel when it made the call last night.

“So we don’t know who we’re looking for … It’s extremely hard to search for them.

“All they said was they’re taking on water and they’re sinking. We don’t know even if they have sunk yet.”

Last night’s conditions were described as very poor and rough; with 3m swells and winds gusting up to 48km/h.

“When you’re out on the water this summer, please take two means of communication and a distress beacon and safety gear – such as lifejackets and flares that will help us to locate you,” Brickles said.

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