18 February 2008
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is facilitating the rescue of 10 sailors whose vessel overturned about 80 nautical miles east of Dunedin.
RCCNZ has been speaking to the crew via satellite phone and has confirmed that all on board the French trimaran Groupama III are uninjured. They are dressed in survival gear on the yacht’s hull awaiting rescue. Four rescue helicopters are en route to their position and plan to winch the crew to safety. Fixed wing aircraft are also assisting with the rescue. An Airforce Orion is also being prepared and can assist if required.
The yacht was taking part in the Jules Verne Round the World Yacht Race when it overturned. RCCNZ’s equivalent in France called the centre at 1.20pm (NZDT) to report it had picked up a signal from the vessel’s 406Mhz Emergency Position indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).
More information will be made available as and when it becomes available.
For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318