British man stranded on yacht in Pacific Ocean awaiting rescue

British man stranded on yacht in Pacific Ocean awaiting rescueThe yacht set off from Tonga: Getty

A British man and a New Zealand woman are waiting to be rescued after their yacht rolled in the Pacific Ocean.

According to, the 11.6-metre yacht, called Windigo, rolled in rough conditions about 700km southwest of Tonga, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said.

It had righted itself, but is taking on water and could still sink, reports the BBC.

The man, 52, and the 43-year-old woman are said to have suffered mild to moderate head injuries, and the man also suffered a back injury.

A message from their emergency beacon was received on Wednesday at 18.30 New Zealand time.

According to the BBC, a freighter and a yacht are expected to reach Windigo at 1am on Friday, but a rescue would not be attempted until dawn.

After the area had been affected by 75kmh winds, search and rescue mission co-ordinator Keith Allen said sea conditions were becoming less severe but were still rough, adding: "It will be extremely uncomfortable and the people aboard are tired, but the yacht is still afloat so the correct approach is to remain onboard."

A flight by a French navy aircraft called Noumea confirmed the yacht is still floating and made radio contact with the crew.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P3-Orion dropped the crew a life raft, which could be used as back-up, but the crew have been advised it is currently safer to stay on the vessel.

A New Zealand Navy patrol boat has also been sent to assist with the rescue.

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