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Search ends for 2 men whose yacht wrecked in Tonga

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (AP) – Rescuers have abandoned a search for two Australians whose yacht was found wrecked off the coast of Tonga last week.

Adelaide resident Ian Thompson and central Victoria resident Erwin Claus, both in their 60s, used a satellite phone on June 14 to tell relatives they had run aground near the island of Late and their 50-foot yacht Navillus was breaking up.

A New Zealand-led rescue team found the wrecked yacht the next day but a search of the ocean and the island turned up nothing more.

Neville Blakemore of the Rescue Coordination Center said the search was suspended late Thursday after “all possible steps” had been taken to find the men.

Thompson, who emigrated from the United Kingdom about 20 years ago, had sailed the yacht from the Caribbean.

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