Tauranga sailor dies in yachting incident

Stuart Pedersen. File photo/SunLive.

The Tauranga community is in mourning tonight following the news of the death of a local sailor.

In a statement released tonight, the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club says the man who died was the club's own Stuart Pedersen.

"You may have seen news reports about a yacht which sank earlier today off Cape Brett, with one sailor dead, and another three in hospital in serious condition," says the club in the statement.

"My information is that the deceased sailor is one of our leading club members, tornado sailor and chairman of BOPSAT, Stuart Pedersen.

"Fellow club member Bruce Goodwin, Stuart’s wife Pamela and Pamela's brother-in-law Steve are the survivors.

"Bruce and Steve have been released from hospital but unfortunately, Pamela is still in intensive care."

Police are investigating what happened and say it is too early to speculate about what caused the boat to sink.

"A mayday call was received about 12.30pm today after the 47 foot yacht got into trouble in the bad weather.

"Two rescue helicopters from Auckland, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion, a Coastguard vessel and a merchant vessel were sent to respond.

"The P3 Orion dropped a life raft to the crew and then the four occupants of the boat were winched by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter."

Stuart was well known in the Tauranga community.

As well as being a sailor and a savvy investor, Stuart was also an ACT Party candidate.

He worked in the economics and investment fields, and was a private investor and an active volunteer in the community through Rotary and as Chairman of the Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust.

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