A Whangarei yachtie says he was relieved to see black-clad commandos aboard a warship after his boat got stuck on the rocks in the Poor Knights Islands.
Lucas Remmerswaal, who was sailing alone, prepared to drop anchor just after 6.30am on November 2, but quickly realised there was a problem.
"After the anchor settled the stern of the ship drifted around and the stern quarter of the hull banged against the rocks," he said.
"I had dropped the anchor in too close so I started to raise the anchor. The deck of the boat was like a bucking bull at a rodeo, constantly on the move."
Remmerswaal said he had tried everything to get his yacht Tafadzwa off the rocks.
"I managed to raise the anchor, but was unable to get back into the cockpit quickly enough to motor away. The next wave pushed the vessel snugly into the rocks."
"I made countless attempts to motor away all to no avail, the waves would lift the hull momentarily and then drop the Tafadzwa back on the rocks."
He put out a mayday call at around 7.20am, which HMNZS Wellington responded to.
"I was so grateful to see four men clothed in black Commando style outfits and helmets in the ship's sea boat," he said.
Sergeant Ryan Gray said on Friday less than an hour after the mayday call the stricken boatie had been pulled off the rocks by a navy team.
Lieutenant Commander Gibbs, captain of the navy ship, said they were pleased to be able to help.
"We made the best speed towards the yacht's location. As soon as we reached the area, we launched one of the ship's sea boats to help tow the yacht away from the rocks and stayed until it was able to get under way."s