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Yacht Tafadzwa Boarded

(PR.co.nz) The skipper of the yacht Tafadzwa, Paul van Rensburg, is not on board the vessel, found drifting around 60 nautical miles (110 kilometres) west of the Chatham Islands yesterday.

The skipper of the yacht Tafadzwa, Paul van Rensburg, is not on board the vessel, found drifting around 60 nautical miles (110 kilometres) west of the Chatham Islands yesterday.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) search and rescue mission coordinator Geoff Lunt said two men from a fishing vessel asked to divert to the yacht yesterday managed to board Tafadzwaaround 8am and did not find the missing man.

“Unfortunately it seems Paul has fallen overboard. It appears his life raft, dinghy, emergency beacon and kayak were all still on board the yacht.”

Mr Lunt said the fishing vessel was now preparing to tow Tafadzwa to the Chatham Islands.

“We’re naturally very disappointed not to have found Paul safe on board the yacht. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Unfortunately there is nothing further RCCNZ can do at this stage.”

Mr Lunt said Paul’s dog, Juanita, was found alive on board Tafadzwa and was being looked after by the crew of the fishing vessel.

Tafadzwa has been spotted drifting west of the Chatham Islands by an Airforce P3 Orion aircraft yesterday afternoon.

A search for the Tafadzwa was launched by RCCNZ on 16 March after Mr van Rensburg was reported overdue from a journey between Tauranga and Gisborne.

RCCNZ carried out an extensive search for the yacht over three days, covering an area of some 328,000 square kilometres.

No trace of Mr van Rensburg or Tafadzwa was found and the search was suspended on 18 March.

After the sighting yesterday, a fishing vessel was tasked to divert to the yacht but due to heavy sea conditions, the captain was unable to board last night.

RCCNZ is the national coordinator for all major (Category II) search and rescue incidents within New Zealand’s search and rescue region – an area covering more than 30 million square kilometres. It responds to significant incidents on land, air and sea, and all distress alerts from emergency beacons. RCCNZ is part of Maritime New Zealand and is Government-funded to provide a 24 hour, seven day a week service.

Media Release 29 March 2010: 8.55pm, from Maritime New Zealand.
Telephone 04 499 7318

 



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