P&0 Ship reaches distressed yacht following mayday call

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 24, 2023 |

Photo: Supplied



The cruise vessel Pacific Explorer is alongside the yacht that requested assistance yesterday evening south-west of Nadi (Fiji).

RCC Fiji is the lead agency in response to this distress call, Maritime NZ’s RCCNZ is providing assistance.

A Maritime NZ’s Rescue Coordination Centre spokesman said two further support vessels are expected later today, one at about midday (local time) and another at 4 PM (local time).


One of the crew from the yacht is now on the Pacific Explorer and is receiving medical treatment.

Support from the vessels scheduled to arrive later today is needed to assist the other people on-board the yacht.

Due to conditions and the comparative size of the Pacific Explorer assisting the remaining people on-board the yacht isn’t possible the spokesman said.


The captain of the P&O Pacific Explorer made an announcement on intercom at about 9PM (NZT) on Sunday about the alteration off course in response to a mayday distress call.

A passenger aboard the cruise ship said he could see flares coming from the yacht as they approached it.

It’s understood the ship blocked off an area so passengers couldn’t see what was happening at the scene.

“When the ship came close to the boat the mast snapped and went flying about. They let it drift off.”

Last night a passenger aboard the P&O Pacific Explorer texted a family member in Christchurch saying “full speed ahead now and punching into big seas , hell of a ride, hope all ok when we get there.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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