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Mother of rescued sailor speaks of her relief

The mother of a sailor whose boat capsized in the Pacific Ocean has spoken of her relief that he's been rescued.

The yacht carrying 52-year-old Stephen Jones from Llandudno Junction and his partner overturned between Tonga and New Zealand two days ago.

Elizabeth Jones told ITV Wales: "They really thought that was it. He was praying to everybody he could think of."

Welsh sailor rescued from Pacific

A Welsh sailor and his partner have been rescued from the Pacific this morning after their yacht overturned between Tonga and New Zealand.

52-year-old Stephen Jones from Llandudno Junction and 43-year-old Tanya Davies from Auckland became stranded after leaving Tonga on Wednesday.

Their yacht Windigo overturned 700km southwest of Tonga and 1,260km northwest of New Zealand.

Both sustained head injuries, although they are not believed to be serious. Mr Jones also suffered a back injury.

Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator Keith Allen, from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ), said heaving lines were lowered from a cargo vessel to the damaged yacht, and the pair pulled abroad.

This is the outcome we have been working towards since the emergency beacon was activated on Wednesday afternoon. It is the result of an excellent coordinated effort involving the RNZAF, which provided a link for the two people on the Windigo when there was no other means of contact, and I would also like to express my appreciation to the captain of the Chengtu cargo vessel and the crew of the Adventure Bound for their efforts.

– Keith Allen, Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator


Sea too rough to rescue couple stranded in Pacific

The New Zealand Maritime agency says the seas have been too rough to attempt a rescue of a sailor from Llandudno Junction and her partner from their yacht in the Pacific Ocean.

The damaged yacht Windigo remains afloat with Stephen Jones and his partner Tanya Davies onboard between Tonga and New Zealand.

The cargo ship Chengtu arrived at the yacht’s position at around 03:40 this morning and is remaining on scene. The yacht Adventure Bound has also been on the scene overnight and has maintained contact with the crew on board Windigo.

A transfer of the crew of the stricken Windigo onto another vessel will take place when conditions allow – there is currently a 5m swell and winds of 25 knots in the area.

– Geoff Lunt, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator

Sailor from Llandudno Junction stranded on yacht in Pacific

A man from Llandudno Junction is waiting to be rescued after his yacht overturned between Tonga and New Zealand. A rescue is hoped to take place on Friday.

Stephen Jones was sailing along with a woman from Aukland when their boat Windigo overturned at around 1830 (NZ time) on Wednesday.

Maritime New Zealand say both are understood to have sustained head injuries after their yacht rolled after leaving Tonga two days ago. Stephen is also thought to have suffered a back injury. None of the injuries are believed to be serious.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has diverted a freighter, the Chengtu, to the yacht's position and it is likely to arrive in the area sometime after 1am, at the around the same time as another yacht, Adventure Bound.

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.

– Keith Allen , Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator