Abandoned in 2012 the yacht drifted from close to Tonga
across the Pacific to the Australian Coastline.
On Saturday 23 February 2013, Polair 3 were undertaking operations south of Coffs Harbour for flood relief, when they have come across an abandoned yacht located on Bongil Beach.
Polair 3 landed nearby and the crew were able to board the yacht, checking for signs of life or if any person may have been aboard.
The crew were able to establish that no person was onboard the yacht, and the investigation of how the vessel came to be on Bongil Beach swung into action.
The yacht, bearing the markings 'WINDIGO' was abandoned at sea in November 2012.
The two occupants of the vessel were rescued from the 'WINDIGO' after the vessel capsized in heavy seas. The rescue
operation involved assets of the Royal New Zealand
Air Force, Royal New Zealand Navy
and a French Naval vessel.
The Polair crew were astounded to learn that 'WINDIGO', after capsizing in heavy seas, was abandoned 435nm south-west of Tonga
, and 738nm north of New Zealand. The vessel has been drifting since November 2012, and has eventually come to rest on Bongil Beach.
Det Supt Mark Noakes, Commander of Polair said, "Polair has been in contact with the owners of 'WINDIGO', and they are now making plans to travel from New Zealand to retrieve their yacht. The crew of Polair are happy to have played a part in the retrieval of 'WINDIGO', after her amazing journey across the Pacific Ocean