Tasman Sea: what’s happening as rescue mission launched for two Australian sailors trapped on damaged yacht

The yacht’s sail appears to be damaged and the boat has taken on a large amount of water

A rescue mission is underway in the Tasman Sea after two Australian sailors and their yacht ran into trouble.

The pair, who are both aged in their 70s, were sailing from New Zealand to Australia when they ran into stormy weather and have been stranded off the coast of Australia’s Lord Howe Island for almost 36 hours.

Their sail appears to be damaged and their yacht has taken on a large amount of water.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) are working hard to bring them to safety.

ASMA has reassured the public that it is providing “overhead visual reassurance”.

Here’s everything you need to know about the rescue mission and what has happened to their yacht.


A rescue mission is underway in the Tasman Sea to save two sailors whose yacht got into difficulty (Pic: Getty Images)

What happened in the Tasman Sea?

Two sailors, who are believed to be from Australia, have gotten into difficulty in the Tasman Sea.

The pair, who are both in their 70s, were travelling on a 14.2 metre yacht, which is named Aviva.

Severe weather hit the area during the early house of Monday (September 5) morning, with storm surges and 10 metre high seas battering their yacht.

The ASMA’s Response Centre was alerted to the incident at 3am Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), by a family member who had been contacted by the pair and been told their boat had suffered damage to its steering and was taking in water.


An emergency beacon was triggered at 5am AEST.

ASMA released a 15-second video of the yacht on their YouTube account, which has since been shared on Twitter by user @VicradioZone

In the black and white clip, the motionless sailing boat is seen bobbing up and down in the waves.

The footage appears to show that there is damage to the sail, whilst the crew onboard are not visible.

Speaking to 1 News, Judie McEnallay, whose husband John is one of the sailors stranded, said: “The rescue has been operated by professionals”.


Adding: “I can’t thank them enough.

“They have gone above and beyond to bring back my husband and his crew.”

What has The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said?

ASMA have released a statement giving an update on the developing incident.

In it, they confirmed that they had sent out their Melbourne based challenger rescue aircraft and that Multiple Air Force aircraft have been in contact with the yacht providing “overhead visual reassurance”.


They said: “AMSA had also diverted two merchant vessels, one of which is now in the area.”

Adding: “The NSW Police vessel Nemesis is still en route and is expected to arrive about 11pm tonight.”

Footage of the vessel published by AMSA appears to show the yacht’s sail was damaged, whilst a family member of the sailors who raised the alert said the boat was also taking on water and had damage to its steering.

Where is the yacht located?

The yacht is located around 305km east of Australia’s Lord Howe Island.


Lord Howe Island is situated 700km northeast of Sydney, Australia.

Located in the Tasman Sea, the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its pristine beaches, unique flora and fauna and coral reefs.