Search Continues For Yachtie Missing Off Waihi Coast

Posted by Gold FM on 15/02/2012

honfleur

The search is continuing this morning for a missing yachtie after his un-manned yacht was found spinning around and around dragging it's anchor with the motor running yesterday, off the Waihi coast.

A member of the public alerted the Police after finding the yacht 11 nautical miles east of Mayor Island.

The 38 foot, single masted yacht called 'Honfleur' was being sailed from Tauranga to Paihia by Richard Rusbatch, a 56 year old charter boat operator from Russell in the Bay of Islands.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre carried out an aerial search yesterday that covered a 900 square kilometre area between Motiti and Mayor Islands. A sea search is also underway, involving the Coastguard and a vessel that has been working on the Rena operation. Searchers will also check Mayor Island today.

It's believed Mr Rusbatch left Tauranga bound for Paihia on Sunday and Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the yacht anytime from Sunday to contact them immediately.