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Sailors rescued by container ship after 2 days at sea

Thursday 4 Nov 2010 5:10 p.m.

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By Adam Ray

Four Kiwi sailors have been plucked from the Pacific Ocean by a container ship, after their yacht was damaged by a massive wave.

The crew of the Mitori sent out a mayday call about 1000km southwest of Fiji, when the wave smashed their rudder.

The sailors were drifting on the ocean for nearly two days, before they were finally picked up.

The four men, all from Auckland, were rescued by the container ship Pacific Independence.

The floor of their life raft had already collapsed and heavy seas made the rescue more difficult.

Midori left Fiji last week, headed for Auckland. Three days into the trip, the boat was hit by heavy seas.

On Friday a wave, believed to have been between six and seven metres, struck the vessel, ripping off its rudder.

The crew, which included owner Bill Young, alerted New Zealand’s Rescue Co-Ordination Centre. Officials diverted the Pacific Independence towards the Mitori as the crew tried to fix the rudder.

After 30 hours and with the container ship circling, they decided to abandon their yacht.

All four men are now safely back in Auckland.

The Mitori was last seen drifting toward New Caledonia and a decision on whether the boat will be salvaged hasn’t been made.

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