Sailors aboard a yacht feared missing since Wednesday night ended a major search and rescue operation with a call to Northland police asking if they were been looked for.
A search for the yacht Tribe and the two people believed to be on-board was launched by NZ's Rescue Co-ordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) around 6.30pm on Wednesday after a brief and partial Mayday call was received.
Search and rescue officers initially locked their sights on Waiheke but found no trace of the vessel.
Then on Thursday morning the search focused on the east of the Coromandel Peninsula, off the coast of Pauanui.
That was until around 2pm when the hard-to-find yacht was located in Bream Bay, south of Whangārei, and around 150km from where it made its mayday call.
A Northland police spokesperson said officers were contacted yesterday afternoon by people on a yacht enquiring about whether a search was on the go to locate their vessel.
"The Rescue Co-ordination Centre was notified and the search was stood down," the spokesperson said.
A Maritime NZ staff member was expected to meet with Tribe's skipper today to discuss the events and identify the lessons to be learned.
Search and Rescue officer Tracy Brickles said the search had been troubled by the yacht failing to provide the name of the vessel when it made the Mayday call.
Search and rescue officers believed they were further hampered with an incorrect location in the call.
"All they said was they're taking on water and they're sinking," Brickles said.
Officers had serious concerns for the safety of the pair onboard as the conditions described were very poor and rough; with 3m swells and winds gusting up to 48km/h.
The Navy ship HMNZS Te Kaha hunted for the missing boat throughout Wednesday night; while two rescue helicopters - from Auckland and Tauranga - and a Coastguard boat were involved.
The helicopters and Coastguard vessel were called back after searching for several hours, however, due to heavy swells in the area.
Irrespective of the incident's circumstances, RCCNZ senior search and rescue officer, Chris Henshaw, still encouraged anyone on the water who believed they were in danger to initiate a mayday call or activate a distress beacon.
Henshaw said if the situation improved people could radio to cancel the mayday call.
"You will be thanked for the cancellation – no one will be critical or angry."
Henshaw said when a beacon is activated people should leave it on until rescuers make contact.
"If you turn it off, we have the position you were at but no way of knowing if you have moved or what has happened."
Boaties are urged to take two waterproof ways to call for help – with a VHF radio and distress beacon tipped as the best means of communication on the water.
"Close to shore, a cellphone in a waterproof bag can be one way to call for help."