Four sailors were rescued from a life raft this afternoon after abandoning their yacht off Great Barrier Island.
The yacht was on its way to Tonga when it sustained rigging damage, and was returning to New Zealand.
At 9.30am, the Rescue Co-ordination Centre received a distress alert sent from the crew's emergency beacon after they had abandoned their yacht.
The four crew members were winched into Auckland Westpac 2 Rescue helicopter and flown back to Auckland, while the another Auckland Westpac helicopter was stood down and returned to base.
RCCNZ manager Mike Hill said the rescue highlighted how important it was to carry appropriate emergency communications equipment.
He said they advised boaties to carry at least two types of reliable emergency communications which would still work when wet.