An alleged thief has been charged after a stolen yacht caught on fire and was run aground twice during a joyride across the Cook Strait.
The significantly damaged boat, valued at $210,000, was found run aground in a harbour north of Wellington.
A 41-year-old man will appear in the Blenheim District Court charged with swiping the 43 foot yacht on October 26.
He is accused of stealing the yacht from a mooring in Waikawa that night, a police spokesman said.
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"Within the first hour of sailing in the Marlborough Sounds the engine overheated and caught fire due to his limited sailing experience and familiarity with the vessel," police said in a statement.
He allegedly continued sailing around the Marlborough Sounds and running it aground near Motuara Island on October 28.
"He then had to wait for a rising tide to refloat the yacht."
Police said the man then sailed the yacht across the Cook Strait and arrived at Plimmerton on the morning of October 29.
"He then abandoned the yacht in Plimmerton after running it aground a second time."
An estimated $60,000 worth of damage was caused to the yacht.
No further information is available as the case is now before the courts.