The yacht is 28 nautical miles off the coast of North Cape, Far North.
A rescue operation is underway for a French yacht which is in trouble off North Cape as ex-tropical cyclone Lola hits the region.
It was believed there was one person on board the yacht.
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“Maritime NZ Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) is co-ordinating a search and rescue response to a French yacht, the Juan Sabulan, 28 Nautical Miles off the coast of North Cape,” said a Maritime New Zealand spokesperson.
The yacht activated the Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) early on Sunday, the spokesperson said, due to loss of motor and damage to its rigging and sails.
“Weather and sea conditions in the area are poor.”
Three rescue helicopters are on route to the yacht and Maritime NZ was in liaison with French authorities in Noumea regarding the alerts.
MetService is forecasting easterly gusts of up to 130kph in exposed parts of Northland on Sunday, with the risk continuing through to early Monday.
Heavy rain is expected in Northland through Sunday afternoon and overnight, with up to 120mm possible.