1 Nov 2017

Yachtsman rescued by Cook Islands police

2:28 pm on 1 November 2017

Cook Islands Police have confirmed a man has been rescued at sea off a drifting yacht by the country's patrol vessel Kukupa after a distress alert was sent out two days ago.

Cook Islands Police Patrol Boat Te Kukupa

Cook Islands Police Patrol Boat Te Kukupa Photo: RNZI/Florence Syme Buchanan

The man, understood to be a New Zealander, is now on board the patrol boat that's expected to arrive back in Rarotonga tomorrow morning.

The 16.5 metre yacht, Zangano, was found drifting within Niue's exclusive economic zone after encountering serious problems in rough seas.

The yacht, which is understood to have a broken rudder, has been abandoned and warnings expected to go out to shipping in the area.

Zangano has been the focus of three rescues in a little more than a year.

Our correspondent said private vessels were not required to have seaworthiness certification when leaving Cook Islands' ports.