Thursday, April 25, 2024

Navy frigate crew rescues sailor

A man on a catamaran in distress has been rescued by Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Mana.

The man was rescued by personnel on a small boat (RHIB) launched from Te Mana, while crew on a Northland Rescue Helicopter provided overwatch for the safety of all involved, NZDF said in a statement today.

Maritime Component Commander Commodore Garin Golding said sea conditions had been challenging and everyone involved was pleased the sailor was now safe on board the ship.

HMNZS Te Mana deployed into the Hauraki Gulf on Monday evening as part of the search and rescue mission for the vessel believed to be in distress. The vessel’s anchor cable had snapped, and the yacht had grounded in Port Fitzroy, Great Barrier Island with strong winds then causing it to drift out to sea, NZDF said.

“No air assets were able to reach the vessel at the time due to the severe weather. Te Mana was the best equipped ship to respond to the rescue effort in such testing conditions,” it said.

The crew completed a search north of Hen and Chicken Island group overnight.

Earlier this morning, Te Mana received details about the location of the vessel from an emergency locator beacon and sailed to the area.

Te Mana circled the vessel several times, waiting for the weather conditions to allow its small boat with four personnel on board to be launched from Te Mana and attempt the rescue.

The man, wearing a life jacket, left his vessel and was plucked from the sea by the two Navy divers on board the RHIB.

“We’re very pleased this joint search and rescue has been successful and the person is now safe on board Te Mana,” Commodore Golding said.

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