When a rescue is an Emotional Rescue

Bay of Islands Rescue Rayglass Protector
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The word rescue when applied to the sailing world can have a host of meanings, but this week when New Zealand's Bay of Islands Coastguard went to the rescue of a yacht with six people on board, the crew of eight went beyond the call of duty and did much more than merely rescue the six, which included two children.

The yacht, a 17m (56ft) sloop Laurie Davidson design, Emotional Rescue, had collided with rocks in the Kerikeri Inlet and lost its keel when it sounded the May Day. The yacht was taking on water as the skipper of the yacht, with the help of a local runabout boat, tried to beach the yacht on a local stony beach. This caused the keel to be wrenched off completely.

Emotional Rescue - registered in Fiji
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The coastguard responded, first of all rescuing the six on board the holed yacht. Then, with a brand-new Bay Rescue II, private auxiliary vessels The Ark and Triesta, and two Auckland auxiliary boats in the area at the time, the crew set about winching the yacht, already listing, onto one side so that they could patch the hole - which by now measured 1200mm by 200mm - as the tide receded.

After patching the hole, they then used a salvage pump to pump the seawater out of the flooded boat - a new salvage pump which had just recently been donated to the Coastguard by the local Lions Club, and had not been used before.

As the tide returned, the crew of eight dragged the boat into deeper water, and then towed it back into the Inlet. Finally they towed the Suva-registered yacht to a local landing, arriving around 10.45pm.

The 'rescue' took ten hours in all, but the yacht was back where it could be repaired by its owner.

Well done by Bay of Islands Coastguard!