Two rescued off NSW coast after rudder failure in gale force winds

NSW Police News Release:

In a joint operation between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and NSW Police, two people have been rescued from a yacht in distress about 210 nautical miles (NM) east north east of Sydney.

AMSA has been in regular contact with the yacht since March 4 after they informed the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) of a broken rudder. The two crew, an Irish and French national, were on board the 40-foot yacht that was travelling from New Zealand to Australia.

About 3pm yesterday (Tuesday 7 March 2017), the yacht, affected by high winds and heavy swell, activated its EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon).

Rescue 660, one of AMSA’s dedicated search and rescue Challenger 604 jets, was tasked to drop additional communications equipment to the yacht. The equipment was dropped successfully by Rescue 660, however the equipment was unable to be recovered by the yacht due to the treacherous conditions. Rescue 660 remained on scene to relay communications from the yacht to AMSA.

AMSA issued a broadcast to shipping in the area requesting assistance which was answered by the container ship ANL Elanora.

AMSA also requested NSW Police assistance and the NSW Police Nemesis vessel was launched at 7pm last night (Tuesday 7 March 2017), with seven officers from the Marine Area Command aboard.

In six-metre swells and gale-force southerly winds, the Nemesis reached the yacht at 8.30am this morning (Wednesday 8 March 2017).

Both the man and the woman were successfully transferred to the Nemesis with the assistance of the ANL Elanora and are reported to be uninjured.

The Nemesis is now returning to Sydney and is expected to arrive at 8.30pm tonight.

View the AMSA video here.

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