Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it detected an emergency beacon around 8 a.m. coming from 270 nautical miles east of Sydney and asked the AC Boeing 777 en route from Vancouver to divert and check out the situation. The plane's captain confirmed that a yacht was stranded off the coast.
An AMSA rescue plane arrived on the scene around noon and was able to establish communications with the man on board, who reported his yacht had been de-masted and was running low on fuel.
The AMSA believed the man, travelling solo, left Sydney two weeks ago and had been drifting away from shore for several days.
A merchant vessel was sent out to the boater's location to provide shelter from strong winds until a police boat could get out to retrieve him Tuesday evening.
An Air New Zealand plane en route from Auckland also helped in the operation.
The AMSA issued a statement thanking the captains and crews, and thanking passengers for their patience.