Four castaways found marooned on Manuae Island, near Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, have been rescued after they had been reported missing for five days.

The 12m longline fishing vessel Gypsy Trader left Rarotonga on May 5 and was due back on May 9.

An RNZAF Orion spotted the four men, two of whom hold New Zealand passports, on Saturday. It appeared the Gypsy Trader slipped its mooring about 10 days ago while the men were ashore.

A patrol boat from Rarotonga rescued the men yesterday.