RCCNZ saves family off reef

28 August 2017

A British family were saved off a reef south-east of Niue overnight when their 15 metre catamaran Avanti ran aground in heavy seas.

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand received their distress call and coordinated with a nearby yacht anchored inside the reef to retrieve the couple and their two children.

RCCNZ Senior Search and Rescue Officer Geoff Lunt says the family were very lucky a yacht happened to be anchored nearby, as Beveridge Reef is a remote 400 kilometres south east of Niue and there were no other vessels anywhere in the vicinity.

Beveridge Reef
Jon Betz © 2017

“The skipper of a 18 metre steel ketch Dona Catharina answered the emergency radio call from our Maritime Operations Centre within seven minutes.  It was very fortunate they were anchored in the lagoon and listening to the distress channel at 2.30am.”

The stranded yacht was taking on water but was well aground on the reef.  This enabled the rescue crew to wait until daylight, around 6.30am this morning, to take a dinghy outside of the reef and collect the family.

Geoff says the family left their yacht, which is likely to break up on the reef, with just their passports. “They are now comfortable onboard the ketch, within the safety of the lagoon. We would like to thank the crew of the ketch and all the rescue services involved in tracking vessel locations and successfully rescuing this family.” 

The group is to sail to Niue in the next few days.

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