A Norwegian sailor in trouble in the Pacific Ocean, 300km off the coast of New Zealand, has been located.

The New Zealand Defence Force joined the search for the man, who activated his distress beacon this morning.

It gave his location as 2800km east-northeast of New Zealand.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force's P-3K2 Orion aircraft took off from Auckland at 5am to help locate the sailor and his 13m vessel SV Albatross, following a request from the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ for help, said Air Commodore Tim Walshe, acting commander joint forces New Zealand.


Walshe said the man and his boat were found shortly after the Orion reached the search area about 9am..

"The skipper was standing on the stern of his vessel waving his red jacket," he said.

The SV Albatross, which has suffered a mechanical failure, was buffeted by southwesterly swells of up to 3.5m and 20-knot winds, Walshe said.

"The Orion crew were able to establish communications with the skipper and he told them that he was safe and well but would like to evacuate from his sailboat."

The Orion crew contacted cargo ship MV Olga, which was 176km south-southeast of the stricken vessel, to help rescue the sailor. The cargo ship was expected to reach SV Albatross' location by mid-afternoon.

The sailor left Opua in the Bay of Islands on May 14 for the 14,000km journey to Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, the RSCCNZ said.

Today's search in the South Pacific comes as the Defence Force continues to help search for a missing tramper in the Tararua Range.

Sergeant Tony Matheson from New Zealand Police said an RNZAF NH90 helicopter would fly up to 50 searchers from police and New Zealand Land Search and Rescue to the Tararua Ranges this morning to continue to look for a 49-year-old man who failed to return from a five-day tramping trip on Saturday afternoon.