Two cruising sailors rescued after storm eases

Windigo’s crew - Steve Jones and Tania Davies, now rescued to cargo ship
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Two injured yachties have been safely transferred to a cargo ship from their damaged boat about 300nm southwest of Tonga..

British/Australian Steve Jones, 52, and New Zealander Tanya Davis, 43, were reported to have suffered mild to moderate head injuries when their 38ft yacht Windigo rolled after leaving Tonga for New Zealand.


The pair set off an emergency beacon less than 48 hours later.

A British cargo ship diverted to rescue the pair had been waiting for wind and swells to ease before attempting a rescue.

Search and rescue mission coordinator Keith Allen says lines from the cargo ship were able to be lowered to the yacht on Friday morning and the couple were pulled to safety.

He said their medical condition was still to be assessed, but it's understood both suffered minor head injuries and Mr Jones also hurt his back.

Another yacht, Adventure Bound, had gone to the scene and its crew kept the injured pair company and gave moral support.

Steven Jones' mother Elizabeth Jones says she was relieved to get a call saying her son was safe because she had heard the rough weather was hampering rescue efforts. 'So when it came through that they'd actually got them, it was brilliant.'

The pair will not have to stay on board until the cargo ship docks, however, which is often the case. Navy ship HMNZS Otago was due to meet up with the cargo ship Friday afternoon to take the pair to New Zealand.

The boat, which was dismasted and had lost its portholes and engine power, had to be abandoned.