A man who fell off a yacht 27km east of Tolaga Bay this afternoon has been rescued after spending more than three hours in the water.
The Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) said a search and rescue operation began at 2.04pm today after receiving a mayday call from the yacht.
Search and Rescue coordinator Chris Henshaw said Maritime Radio asked the remaining person on the yacht to activate their emergency beacon so it could establish their position.
Two beacons were activated at 2.14pm.
The coastguard, a Defence Force Orion and a number of other planes and vessels helped with the search.
The man was found and rescued by the Hawke's Bay rescue helicopter. They located him in the water about 5.30pm and used a rescue swimmer to get him onboard the helicopter, RCCNZ said.
RCCNZ said the man has been taken to Gisborne Hospital in a hypothermic state.
The coastguard is currently escorting the yacht to Gisborne.