P&O cruise ship Pacific Explorer helped in the rescue of two surviving sailors after their crewmate died on a stricken yacht off the coast of Fiji.

Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) confirmed the death of the crewman on the 12-metre New Zealand-flagged Second Life. The survivors arrived back in Suva on Republic of Fiji Navy patrol boat Savenaca.

The 12-metre New Zealand-flagged Second Life had a broken mast. Considered unsafe to tow back, it was scuttled on site.

One sailor had earlier been was winched aboard Ocean Explorer. The other crew member remained onboard with the deceased. Rough weather stopped Ocean Explorer from launching a tender to further assist.

Sailors from Republic of Fiji Navy patrol boat Savenaca then arrived at the site and boarded the stricken yacht just after midday. 

A RIB heads to help Second Life as Pacific Explorer is at the ready.

“Sadly one person has died as a result of an incident involving a yacht off Fiji yesterday evening,” Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre confirmed.

RFN picked up both survivors including the crew member winched aboard Pacific Explorer.

Pacific Explorer was “requested to assist a yacht in distress south of Fiji”, a P&O Australia spokeswoman told The New Zealand Herald.

“P&O received a call for assistance from the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre and arrived at 1am local time,” she said.

Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) confirmed the death. They said the three on board “encountered difficulty”.

The yacht was first intercepted by the ship at 1am Monday morning.

Pacific Explorer, which carries 2000 passengers, diverted from its Auckland to Suva itinerary to head to the yacht which had issued a distress signal.

Ocean Explorer
Pacific Explorer came to the rescue of Second Life.

Watch the video from Pacific Explorer here

The 12-metre New Zealand-flagged Second Life appeared to have a broken mast and the crew reportedly required medical assistance. Rough weather stopped Ocean Explorer from launching a tender to further assist. 

Sailors from Republic of Fiji Navy patrol boat Savenaca arrived at the site. Then then boarded the stricken yacht just after midday. 

“Sadly one person has died as a result of an incident involving a yacht off Fiji yesterday evening,” Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre confirmed.

The Fiji navy picked up the survivors and the deceased before returning to Fiji.

Pacific Explorer continued on its course to Fiji. It is currently on an eight-day itinerary from Auckland with mostly New Zealanders and Australians on board. Pacific Explorer was due to arrive in Suva, Fiji on Monday morning.