A man who died aboard stricken yacht the Platino comes from a seafaring family.

Auckland Nick Saull was struck by the yacht's rigging, while Aucklander Stephen Forno was washed overboard and is missing at sea after the vessel encountered rough conditions on Monday last week, north of New Zealand.

Three other people aboard Platino were rescued by a container ship.

Mr Saull, a boat builder, has been remembered by friends as a devoted father and husband who loved the ocean.

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His father, the Rear Admiral Keith Saull, also spent much time on the water and was the Navy's chief of naval staff from April 1980 to March 1983, capping off a long and distinguished navy career.

Keith Saull died peacefully in February this year, aged 88.

He graduated from the Merchant Navy training school in 1945 and his early career took him to Hong Kong and the Japanese war trials abord British vessels.

He transfered to New Zealand's navy in 1951 and almost immediately headed off to the Korean War.

As he moved up the ranks, Keith Saull was posted to Washington as naval attache before his promotion to rear admiral in 1980.

He retired in 1983.