HMNZS Wellington Helps Yacht in Distress
The yacht under tow to calmer waters so that the skipper could safely repair his rigging.
16 December 2016
The Royal New Zealand Navy’s offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington has helped a yacht that ran adrift off Kaikoura’s South Bay after its rigging and engine failed.
HMNZS Wellington was in Kaikoura yesterday for a one-day goodwill visit aimed at showing continued support for the earthquake-stricken seaside town. Members of Coastguard Kaikoura and their families were on board the ship for a tour when the request for assistance came from Kaikoura Police.
“We were at anchor not far from where the distressed yacht was and we lost no time in coming to her aid. The boat was drifting towards the rocks, the skipper had no means to seek help as his cellphone battery was flat, he had run out of fuel and the engine had broken down,” Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR) Matt Kaio, the Commanding Officer of Wellington, said.
LTCDR Kaio said Wellington sent two of its engineers to repair the yacht’s engine and provided 20 litres of diesel to enable the skipper to proceed. The RHIB then towed the vessel to the northern side of the peninsula, so that the skipper could safely fix his rigging protected from the weather before resuming his trip.
The yacht’s skipper told crew from Wellington that he was on his way to Reefton.
About 30 crewmembers from Wellington and 10 New Zealand Army soldiers visited three primary schools to play sports with the students and hosted a sausage sizzle for them on Thursday. The sailors then visited the township to engage with the local community.
Wellington arrived in Kaikoura on 16 November, two days after the earthquake struck North Canterbury, to support the New Zealand Defence Force’s disaster relief operation. A Littoral Warfare Unit embarked on the ship surveyed approaches for landing crafts and anchorage positions, paving the way for Canterbury to bring aid supplies to the coastal town.
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