An elderly Swedish couple had to be rescued from a yacht after their mast broke in four-metre swells near the Cook Islands.
Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) said it detected a beacon alert from the vessel at around 7:15pm on Monday (local time).
Satellite phone contact was also established with the 11.2 metre yacht, called Blue Horizon, via the Swedish Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
A 69-year-old woman and 70-year-old man ended up being rescued 125 nautical miles (231km) north-east of the Cook Islands.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Controller Neville Blakemore said the Swedish couple aboard the yacht feared the broken mast would put a hole in the hull.
An aircraft was dispatched from the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Papeete, Tahiti to over fly the yacht.
It confirmed that the nearest rescue vessel was the tanker Stena Paris, located around 150 nautical miles (280km), or 10 hours sailing, away.
"The tanker was diverted to rescue the couple and they were successfully taken aboard, uninjured, at round 9 this morning," Blakemore said.
"Weather conditions were not great, with swells of around four metres, so it was excellent work by the master and crew of the Stena Paris to get the couple aboard without incident.”
The Stena Paris is now continuing its voyage to Papeete but the yacht has been abandoned, with a warning issued to shipping.
Blakemore said the rescue was a good example of RCCNZ working well with a number of overseas agencies.