Missing yacht, Tribe, found near Whangarei

18 February 2021

The yacht, Tribe, which broadcast a Mayday call yesterday evening was found this afternoon in Bream Bay about 4 nautical miles (7km) south of Whangarei.

That is about 80 nautical miles (150km) north of where it made its Mayday call.

A Maritime NZ staff member expects to meet Tribe’s skipper tomorrow to discuss what happened and what lessons can be learned from the incident.

Rescue Coordination Centre NZ Senior Search and Rescue Officer, Chris Henshaw, said irrespective of the circumstances of this incident, anyone on the water who believes their life is in danger should not hesitate to make a Mayday call or activate a distress beacon – delay can be fatal.

“If you make a Mayday call and the situation changes for the better, then make the radio call to cancel the Mayday,” Mr Henshaw said. “You will be thanked for the cancellation – no one will be critical or angry.

“If you activated a beacon and are no longer in danger, then make sure you leave the beacon on until you are contacted by rescuers. If you turn it off, we have the position you were at but no way of knowing if you have moved or what has happened.

“Our advice to everyone going boating is take two water-proof ways to call for help.

“A VHF radio and distress beacon are the best.

“Close to shore, a cellphone in a waterproof bag can be one way to call for help.”

This is the last media release Maritime NZ will issue about the search today.

Further information will not be available before tomorrow afternoon.

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