Couple winched from sinking yacht

TWO people were rescued in wild weather from a sinking yacht approximately 50 nautical miles off the coast of Byron Bay early this morning.
TWO people were rescued in wild weather from a sinking yacht approximately 50 nautical miles off the coast of Byron Bay early this morning. WESTPAC LIFE SAVER RESCUE HELICO

TWO people were rescued in wild weather from a sinking yacht approximately 50 nautical miles off the coast of Byron Bay this morning.

In a successful joint operation, the Emergency Medical Queensland (EMQ) Rescue Helicopter and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, winched a 70 year-old man and a 32 year-old woman from the stranded yacht, the Morning Tide, at about 8am.

The EMQ Rescue Helicopter carried out the extraction while the Westpac chopper flew top cover assistance.

It is understood the yacht lost its communication equipment when it was swamped in high seas and was taking on water when the skipper activated an emergency beacon around midnight.

A bulk carrier, Amarantha, located the yacht but could not conduct a rescue due to the heavy conditions.

It waited nearby until the rescue helicopters arrived.

They pair were treated for hypothermia and fatigue in-transit to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital where they are reported to be in a stable condition.

A spokesperson for the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter said the yacht, the Morning Tide - an eleven times Sydney to Hobart entrant - reported engine trouble and communication problems en-route to Brisbane from the NSW Central Coast.

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Lifesaver 2 is currently re-fuelling at the Gold Coast and returning to the Lismore Helibase.

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