Resort workers to the rescueJun 11, 2012
Grounding was on north island of Vanua Levu
According to the SailWorld.com site in Australia, having vacation resort nearby might not be such a bad thing when you are out voyaging. Workers from the Almost Paradise resort in Fiji were first on the scene to rescue a voyaging couple after their boat hit a reef and sank near Somosomo Strait. Even though the voyagers turned on their EPIRB, they also sent out a distress call on VHF. The resort heard the yacht's VHF call and sent out a boat to pick them up. Shows the value of making a VHF call in coastal waters, even if you are equipped with an EPIRB.
From SailWorld.com: Two New Zealand sailors, a man and a woman, have been rescued by the staff of a Fijian resort after the yacht they were sailing sank in waters between two Fijian Islands. The 14 metre yacht Touche hit a reef about 20nm east of Savusavu Harbour at the entrance to Somosomo Strait, which separates Taveuni island and Vanua Levu in Fiji and is normally better known as an idyllic snorkeling and diving paradise. Kevin Banaghan of the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) said a 59-year-old man from Great Barrier Island and a 53-year-old Tauranga woman were rescued after the yacht sank around midday, New Zealand time. The pair abandoned ship and activated their position-indicating radio beacon, which was received by the RCCNZ. It advised the Fiji Rescue Coordination Centre. However, the resort, 'Almost Paradise', which was close by, picked up the distress call and responded to the call. The resort staff then rescued them at 2pm by sending one of their tug boats to the location.
The couple are now being handed over to Immigration and Customs officials. This was confirmed by Fiji Navy Commander John Fox this morning. 'We have spoken to them and Immigration and Customs officials will assist them return home.' Commander Fox said. Officials said both were safe and well, but their names have not been released.