NZ couple rescued after yacht hits rocks off Tonga
1.00pm Tuesday July 18, 2006
Two people have been rescued from a New Zealand yacht after it hit a reef near Tonga last night. It was one of two search and rescue operations initiated by the Rescue Coordination Centre overnight. The stricken 9m yacht, Tamujin, hit a reef off Eua Island, about 20km southeast of the main Tongan island of Tongatapu. The couple on board reported they were reluctant to use a liferaft as there were cliffs and jagged rocks in the area. They were evacuated by crew of a Tongan naval vessel. The second operation involved an 8.2m fishing boat overdue from a fishing trip northwest of the island of Kao, also in the Tonga group. An Air Force Orion aircraft has been dispatched to the area and was expected to arrive and begin radar searches over a large area late this morning. The boat, which has no maritime radio, flares or emergency locator beacon and limited supplies, has two Tongan locals on board and was due back on Saturday.