From the organisers of Sail Fiji:
As many will have heard the yacht Platino who was entered in the cruising rally, but did not start, is in trouble 500 km north of North Cape. A sailor has died and a search is underway for another man knocked overboard. See NZL Herald.
From the ANZ Sail Fiji organising committee we send our sincere condolences to the families involved. As Suellen Hurling, our Yachting & Communications Manager, said to me awhile ago, “this is the bad part of our sport, people die”.
For ANZ Sail Fiji the safety of our sailors is our number one priority, and that is why we strive to ensure that all boats meet the best practice standards of training and equipment. Behind the scenes we make sure we have the best processes in place including the Yellow Brick Tracker and 24 hour support to the fleet. It is this very type of scenario that Platino is in that we dread, we fear, and we do our very best to guard against.
The reporters that have called, have all asked who the boat is being monitored by, and sadly, unlike our fleet there is no group watching the tracker 24/7 and answering the phone through the night.
For all of those you who raced this year with us, we all have been very lucky, you have all made it to the finish line safely and I myself am particularly grateful.
RAYC Vice Commodore
Update from Stuff.co.nz
An Auckland man says members of a yacht crew including his son and daughter-in-law “are not safe yet” from mountainous seas that have claimed one life while another remains missing.
Rescuers are still trying to reach the stricken yacht Platino and find a man overboard but Takapuna resident Peter McKeogh is relieved his son Brent McKeogh and wife Victoria are still alive. But he says the couple and a third crew member are not safe yet.
The Rescue Co-ordination Centre NZ relayed McKeogh news about the tragedy.
RCCNZ spokesman Steve Rendle said he understood the dead man was struck by falling rigging in 4m-high seas while the other man was knocked overboard.
The man's body remains aboard the Platino.
“There were only two people on deck when the accident happened, one was swept overboard and the other got seriously injured and later died,” McKeogh said.
Rescue Co-ordination Centre NZ search and rescue mission co-ordinator Keith Allen said the yacht suffered serious rigging damage on Monday morning in winds of up to 75 kilometres per hour.
Read the full story here.