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Media Statement regarding Sublime Rescue

10 Jul 2006



For immediate release


Correct safety procedures followed during yacht race


The Short Handed Sailing Association of New Zealand (SSANZ) states that full and correct safety procedures were followed with regards to the two sailors rescued from their upturned catamaran following a yacht race on Saturday 8 July.


"SSANZ ensures a very high level of safety readiness is achieved by all of our competitors," says SSANZ President Brian Murray. "All boats are equipped to the Category 4 standard required by Yachting New Zealand for racing in sheltered waters. In addition, we require that each boat carries an EPIRB location device in case search and rescue is required."


"SSANZ also requires that every skipper declares that their boat meets safety standards. Spot safety inspections are carried out before the race. We ensure that every starter is accounted for until they either cross the finish line or withdraw from the race and for our longer races we have regular radio check-ins."


"This particular boat called into SSANZ after it capsized on the first occasion notifying us that it was okay and it had retired from the race. The boat and crew were in good condition and proceeded under sail back to their home port of Bayswater in the Waitemata Harbour. At this point they had their own line of communication established with the skipper of the boat that had assisted them following the first capsize. This line of communication worked: when they didn't make contact, the skipper alerted both Coastguard and the Police, and they were located and rescued shortly after."


Murray says that while the vessel was carrying safety gear, including flares and communications equipment that would have enabled them to summon help, the crew could not access it once the boat was upside down.  This matter will be addressed by the SSANZ committee.


Brian Murray continues, "We are pleased that the crew are both safe and congratulate them on their seamanship."





Issued by Brian Murray on behalf of the Short Handed Sailing Association of New Zealand on 9 July 2006

Tel. 021 670778