A yacht traveling from Tahiti to Fiji was sighted very close to Niue off the coast of Namukulu sailing south earlier this week on Monday at around 4.30pm in the afternoon.
A press statement issued yesterday afternoon by the Niue Police Department said the yacht sighting was reported by a local citizen.
Telecom Niue radio operators contacted the yacht several times with no response which prompted the Police to launch the search and rescue boat SAR1 to attempt to contact the rouge yacht.
SAR1 was launched with the assistance of Niue Fisheries and contact was made about 15km from shore. The yacht called Gizmo was not in distress and was on route from Tahiti to Fiji.
The crew were advised that they were in Niue waters illegally and told to leave immediately.
Tahiti is one of the Pacific nations with the highest number of COVID 19 cases. Since the corona-virus outbreak Tahiti has recorded 2,410 cases, there are currently 491 active cases, 46 people in hospital and to date ten people have died in Tahiti of the coronavirus.
Niue borders remain closed to any vessels other than the cargo boat which visits the island once a month.