French navy in Tasman Sea yacht rescue

1st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

WELLINGTON, July 1 (AFP) - A French navy ship rescued three people from a crippled yacht in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, but its owner refused to leave, rescue authorities said here Thursday.

WELLINGTON, July 1 (AFP) - A French navy ship rescued three people from a crippled yacht in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, but its owner refused to leave, rescue authorities said here Thursday.

The yacht, named Te Marama, sent out a distress beacon Monday, reporting engine, rudder and sail problems 230 kilometres (142 miles) east of Australia's Norfolk Island.

It had been sailing from New Zealand to the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia.

A bid to rescue the four Wednesday by taking them aboard a freighter failed because of poor weather.

However a French Navy patrol craft reached the yacht late Wednesday and plucked a woman and two French crew from the vessel at around midnight, rescue officials said.

The owner of the catamaran, Patrick Humbert, elected to stay on the boat.

Humbert told the navy rescuers he was trying to organise salvage of the yacht, which was his "life's work", National Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesman Jim McLean said.

Humbert told the rescuers he longer needed help, McLean said.

The weather was improving and the catamaran was drifting towards Noumea, he said.

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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