Solo sailor praised after yacht sinks in New Zealand

A quick-thinking Kiwi yachtie attempting a solo circumnavigation of New Zealand has survived disaster off the coast of Kaitaia.

The 48-year-old man activated his rescue beacon when his 15-metre vessel began taking on water 100 nautical miles west of Kaitaia early on Saturday morning.

He jumped into a life raft as his yacht sank.

Rescue Coordination Centre spokesman John Ashby said the man remained in contact with his wife by a tracking and messaging device, and she was able to brief rescuers on his condition.

“He did all the right things, had all the right equipment, and did everything he could to help save himself,” he said.

The yacht sank quickly but a rescue helicopter was able to pick the man up from his life raft at about 9am.

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