One Dead, Two Rescued in Tragic Yacht Incident off Fiji Coast


A tragic maritime incident unfolded off the coast of Fiji involving a New Zealand-flagged yacht named Second Life. According to Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre, the yacht in trouble led to one fatality with three people on board when it initially encountered distress.

Remarkably, the misfortune triggered rapid responses. A survivor was rescued in the afternoon by the Fijian Navy vessel, Savenaca, while another was earlier transported to Pacific Explorer, a cruise ship, where they obtained timely medical attention. Both survivors, along with the deceased, are now en route to Fiji, with all appropriate consular services informed of the situation.

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It was approximately 12 hours after the desperate Mayday signal was sent from the troubled vessel, floating in the waters south of Fiji, that the crew were evacuated. Their rescuers were first on the scene at 1am, courtesy of P&O cruise ship, Pacific Explorer. This 2000-passenger vessel was on its passage from Auckland to Suva in Fiji, when it deviated towards the distress signal.

Distress permeated over Second Life as it wavered with a damaged sail and an urgently needed medical team to assist its crew. Despite the tumultuous weather, one crew member was airlifted to the cruise ship with the remaining two staying aboard, unable to be evacuated.

As the Pacific Explorer remained at a safe distance due to severe weather hindering tender launches, the Fijian navy was summoned to execute a recovery operation. Subsequently, the Republic of Fiji Navy’s patrol boat, Savenaca, intercepted the stalled yacht in the early afternoon. Onlookers saw sailors boarding the 12-metre vessel and removing bags from the craft.

Communication-wise, the Pacific Explorer remained in constant contact with those aboard the Second Life through the eventful evening. However, they had to leave the scene since rescuing the remaining crew was logistically impossible due to the conditions and size discrepancy.

In the wake of this tragedy, we would like to pause and reflect upon the brave and dedicated individuals who risk their lives to ensure the safety of others. In situations filled with uncertainty and danger, these heroes jump into action without hesitation, exemplifying the spirit of true guardians of the sea.

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