Whangarei yachties airlifted to safety

The pair took shelter near Poor Knights Island. Photo credit: Steve Couchman/Northland Emergency Services Trust

Two boaties on board a stricken yacht off the Whangarei coast have been airlifted to safety.

But not before they tried to sail back to Whangarei Harbour on Sunday night in the dark.

As a result, they hit rocks near Taiharuru.

They ignored advice to anchor overnight at the Poor Knights Islands.

Their 12-metre yacht's steering and navigation equipment was damaged in rough weather at the weekend.

Major swells and bad weather hampered attempts to winch the pair out or tow them home.