You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

No charge for stranded Polish yachtsman

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/04/2017
Stock © Getty Images Stock

A Polish round-the-world solo yachtsman who had to be convinced to leave his damaged vessel in the south Pacific Ocean won't be charged for the rescue, Maritime New Zealand says.

Gregor Wegrzyn, 64, set off an emergency beacon 2700 metres east of Christchurch when his yacht Regina R suffered a steering failure on Thursday.

But when when the cargo vessel Key Opus arrived to rescue him on Saturday afternoon he was reluctant to leave.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand said it eventually had to fly an interpreter from the Polish Embassy four hours in a Defence Force plane to talk Mr Wegrzy off the yacht on Sunday.

"Once the Polish speaker - who was known to the man - made radio contact with him, he was able to convince him of the gravity of the situation and he agreed to leave his boat," RCCNZ search and rescue mission coordinator Dave Wilson said.

A spokeswoman for the RCCNZ said there'd be no charge for the rescue and the organisations involved would pay their own costs,

Anyone within New Zealand waters was entitled to call for help without charge and details could not be provided on how much the rescue would have cost, she said.

Mr Wegrzyn was unharmed and will now disembark the cargo boat in Chile.

RCCNZ is broadcasting a warning for other vessels that the yacht is drifting in the area.

The 10.6m vessel had been headed for Cape Horn as part of a journey around the world.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon