Seabourn Spirit raced to the rescue of a yacht caught in a severe gale off New Zealand's South Island. The mayday call was received from the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre at 10 a.m. and Seabourn Spirit Captain Rickard Lorentzen, en route from Ship's Cover to Lyttleton (the port for Christ Church), proceeded to the sloop Estelle, about 5.5 nautical miles away.
In the midst of the gale force winds, Seabourn Spirit waited with the sloop until a Coast Guard rescue launch could get there -- which took about 1.25 hours. At that point, the Coast Guard took over and Seabourn Spirit headed on to Christ Church, arriving at about 2:15 p.m.
All told, the detour only took about 1.5 hours and Seabourn Spirit still arrived early in Lyttleton as the ship had been, according to Seabourn spokesman Bruce Good, "weathered out of the port of Kaikoura" and was going to be early anyway.