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NZ authorities search for man lost at sea between Fiji and NZ

A search is underway for a sailor who went overboard from the yacht Platino. The man was lost around 300 nautical miles north of New Zealand. According to Radio New Zealand, there were five people on board the 20m yacht Platino – including owners Tory and Harry McKeogh, and Ross McKee. The vessel contacted Maritime […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

June 14, 2016 12:53 pm

A search is underway for a sailor who went overboard from the yacht Platino. The man was lost around 300 nautical miles north of New Zealand.

SV Platino pictured about 55km north of New Zealand. (Radio NZ)
SV Platino pictured about 55km north of New Zealand. (Radio NZ)

According to Radio New Zealand, there were five people on board the 20m yacht Platino – including owners Tory and Harry McKeogh, and Ross McKee.

The vessel contacted Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre shortly after 11am.

The rescue centre told Radio NZ that an Air Force Orion had been searching for the man lost overboard since about 1pm, and would resume the search this morning.

It has been confirmed that the deceased was not wearing a life jacket.

Mission coordinator Keith Allen said the swells and strong winds were making it extremely dangerous for the crew to be on deck.

Another spokesperson for the centre, Steve Rendle, said the yacht’s boom was damaged.

RENDLE: “The boom I think has been battered around by the conditions, which are strong winds and high seas. I can only assume that the damage caused to the boom has resulted in that man being fatally injured. It’s a challenging situation, but we are working on the basis this is a search.”

Mr Rendle said the yacht was experiencing 4-metre swells.

RENDLE : “The three [other] people on board hunkered down below decks and they’re motoring towards New Zealand, so not very pleasant conditions at all.”

The yacht had registered to race from New Zealand to Fiji, as part of Sail Fiji. A race organiser said the crew had pulled out of the race and was sailing independently.

Platino was entered in the cruising class, and would have started its racing voyage on the 1st of June.

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