Maritime NZ will not lay charges against the skipper of a yacht that sparked a major search after calling in a mayday.
A spokesman said they had spoken with the skipper who told them he didn't seem to understand how the emergency VHF channel 16 worked.
The skipper of the Tribe made a brief mayday call last Wednesday evening stating his vessel was taking on water and was sinking.
Contact was then lost.
The Rescue Coordination Centre, Maritime NZ, Coastguard NZ, the Defence Force and other emergency services launched a search for the yacht despite not knowing where it was.
The Maritime spokesman said the yacht was battling 8-metre swells and night was falling.
"He gave coordinates as well as he could.
"He had a hand-held VHF radio attached to his clothing but after the broken communications with Maritime Radio, he could no longer use his radio or listen to it.
"He was under high stress, in a very noisy environment, single-handedly struggling to manage his yacht and keep his inexperienced crew member safe in the heavy seas, strong wind and increasing darkness. He did not hear any of the radio messages to him and the broadcasts to all vessels in the search area."
After making the mayday call off the east coast of the Coromandel, the skipper was able to sail north using Tribe's motor, reaching calmer seas after several hours.
Tribe was eventually discovered in Bream Bay, a few kilometres out of Whangarei.
The skipper was open and cooperative, says Maritime NZ.
However, it has some key reminders for boaties.
"Take two waterproof ways to call for help and if you believe life is in danger you should not hesitate to make a mayday call – delay can be fatal."
Boaties were also urged to have a distress beacon on board because when activated, it notified the Rescue Coordination Centre of the boat's location distress via a global satellite system, and could be homed onto.
"In this case, the skipper did not seem to sufficiently understand the distress channel, VHF channel 16, which is monitored 24/7 by Maritime NZ's Maritime Radio Service. Maritime NZ has discussed this with him.
"If you make a mayday call and the situation changes for the better, then cancel the mayday. You will be thanked for the cancellation – no one will be critical or angry."
If the beacon was activated and the crew were no longer in danger, boaties were asked to leave the beacon on until contacted by rescuers.
"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."