A Coastguard rescue vessel is shadowing a yacht taking on water into the shelter of Doubtless Bay in the Far North after rough conditions prevented transfer of Coastguard volunteers to it.
Freedom Hunter, a 45ft sloop with three people on board, issued a distress call early today which was picked up by Maritime Radio.
The yacht was enroute to Opua returning from Fiji and reported their position as 28 nautical miles off Great Exhibition Bay in the Far North.
Coastguard was alerted by the Rescue Coordination Centre at about 12.15am.
A container ship and French registered yacht were re-directed towards the distressed vessel and salvage pumps were provided to the Northland Emergency Helicopter Trust to transfer to the yacht.
However, the helicopter's attempt to winch both personnel and equipment onto the vessel were abandoned due to rough conditions.
Coastguard Volunteers on board Coastguard Rescue Vessel Bay Rescue were directed to the incident at about 5.20am.
Battling two metre seas, the rescue vessel arrived on scene at 8am.
However, the rough conditions again prevented the transfer of Coastguard Volunteers to the vessel and the decision was made to shadow it into the shelter of Doubtless Bay before assessing the situation fully.
This was still underway late this morning.