Challenging sea conditions during gutsy rescue by Police Maritime Unit
At about 9.00pm last night (30 January) the 38ft yacht Enfin with two men on-board was travelling from Mana to the Bay of Islands.
“The vessel encountered rough sea conditions in Cook Strait and as they passed Wellington the steering system broke,” says Senior Sergeant in charge of the Wellington Police Maritime Unit, Dave Houston.
This meant the yacht was almost impossible to control and they were drifting offshore rapidly.
“The crew put a May Day call out after one of the crew had slipped on the deck and injured his back and was unable to move leaving the remaining crew member to secure the yacht, which was becoming too difficult,” says Senior Sergeant Houston.
The weather was due to deteriorate during the night and so with the assistance of a fishing trawler, the Amaltal Mariner, the Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV made their way to the yacht’s position.
Both men on board the Enfin had succumbed to severe seasickness due to the rough conditions, so time was of the essence.
The Lady Liz crew managed to get a line to the stricken vessel and started the tow back to Wellington.
At 6am this morning the boat was safely alongside in Wellington.
The injured crew member was treated by waiting ambulance staff, but luckily only suffered minor injuries.
Senior Sergeant Houston says “The conditions were pretty challenging especially having to work in darkness in the rough sea conditions and at one stage the winds were gusting over 60knots (130 kilometres per hour)
Communicating with sick and fatigued crew in itself can be a challenge, so we are grateful, as the crew of the Enfin is, that this story has had a good ending.”
Issued by Police Media Centre