Crew abandon yacht after hitting reef

Four crew from a New Zealand yacht have been rescued by a cruise ship from a reef off the Australian coast.

The crew of the 14m Sambaluka abandoned the yacht after they ran aground on Chesterfield Reef, about 500 nautical miles east of the Queensland city of Mackay.

The crew of four – a New Zealander, two Frenchmen and an American, set off their EPIRB at 6.30am. The Pacific Sun, carrying almost 2000 passengers and crew, responded, and sighted the casualties at around 5pm.

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokesman said none of the four men were injured. “I understand they are wet, a bit frightened, but okay,” the spokesman said.