Sailors pulled to safety

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 April, 1999, 12:00am

Seven Hong Kong sailors competing in a race to the Philippines were plucked to safety by a helicopter yesterday after their boat started taking on water.

Kwong Shan, skipper of the catamaran Avalon, discovered the vessel was taking on water 160 nautical miles southeast of Hong Kong.

The boat was being hammered by 20-knot plus winds and two-metre seas after setting off at noon on Wednesday in the biennial Hong Kong to San Fernando blue-water yacht race.

Skipper Kwong radioed the race's radio control vessel, Moon Blue, at 3pm yesterday reporting the leak.

The Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre sent a helicopter and the crew was safely returned to Hong Kong without injury. The crew's boat remained adrift.