A Nelson man has died after falling overboard from his yacht in heavy seas in the outer Marlborough Sounds yesterday afternoon.
The incident happened about 2pm when the 11 metre Elliot racing yacht Mrs Jones, from Nelson, was sailing towards Picton. As the yacht neared Cape Jackson a large wave swept the man overboard.
His sailing companion was able to secure a tether to him, but was unable to get him back onboard. He was wearing full wet weather gear, but no lifejacket.
A mayday call was made and emergency services responded, with the Westpac rescue helicopter from Wellington first to arrive. The man was winched from the water into the helicopter where CPR was performed. He was pronounced dead soon after.
The crew member was assisted by Coastguard to bring the yacht to Picton.
The deceased has been named as Charles (Charlie) Gerard Gallagher, aged 52 years, from Nelson.
Next of kin have been advised and the matter has been referred to the Coroner.