Search under way after mayday call from sinking yacht near Coromandel Peninsula

Search and rescue efforts are underway to find two yachties at sea around the upper North Island after they sent out a mayday call that they were sinking.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand said it received the mayday via maritime radio about 6.30pm yesterday.

Search and Rescue officer Tracy Brickles said: “We understand that two people are on board the yacht but we have no further information about the yacht, or what may have caused it to take on water, at this time.

“We have serious concerns for the safety of those on board.”

The location was given to be near Waiheke. But a search to find the vessel found nothing – and officials think the yacht may have given an incorrect location.

It is now believed the yacht was around the east of the Coromandel Peninsula, off the coast of Pauanui.

The Navy ship HMNZS Te Kaha has been searching for the missing boat throughout the night; while two rescue helicopters and a Coastguard boat have also been involved.

The helicopters and Coastguard vessel were called back after searching for several hours, however, due to heavy swells in the area.

Brickles urged anyone who may have seen the yacht or has information that may help authorities to call Police immediately on 111.

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